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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - November 11, 2019

MSC Grandiosa Lights Up Hamburg's Elbe River At Official Christening Event
MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, in the city of Hamburg, Germany on November 9, during the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Marking cruise line's largest and longest christening event ever, the launch of MSC Grandiosa's was part of a series of celebrations over 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports. Following the Christening, MSC Grandiosa embarked on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa, Italy. Then, MSC Grandiosa will commence her usual 7-night cruises starting November 23.

It's an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.

On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:

• Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests

• A 305-ft.-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants

• An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas' Danse Dessin series

• Dedicated children's areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO

• The world's first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every stateroom

Since arriving in Hamburg on November 6, MSC Grandiosa was the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city's Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolize MSC Cruises' long-standing commitment to the ocean. And, MSC Grandiosa's striking silhouette was seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg's Elbe river.

The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany's favorite entertainers.

The festivities didn't stop there – a purpose-built "MSC Village" on the banks of the River Elbe brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale who acted as presenters and hosts.

The evening's main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special lightshow illuminated the building and ship. She took center stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially named her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa then passed through a spectacular gateway of blue light returning to her dock, symbolizing the new ship's entry to the world.

Guests on board then enjoyed a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests started with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up was the traditional German dish, "Maultasche" – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish served was an oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange, or a duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests chose from a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelized pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

Guests danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship's iconic 305-ft.-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and British singer Emma Lanford performed.

MSC Grandiosa will begin regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from November 23 with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France.

Seabourn Celebrates Returning Guests With Enhanced Loyalty Program
Seabourn announced this week that it is expanding rewards for repeat guests who experience the award-winning Seabourn fleet on travel to must-see ports, hidden gems, and remote destinations around the globe. From one of the richest loyalty programs in the cruise industry to newly upgraded benefits and added savings on select voyages, Seabourn Club members understand the value of the Seabourn experience – encouraging travelers to come back, time and time again.

"The loyalty of our guests is something that we celebrate, as their repeat business and referrals to friends and family contribute greatly to our success," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Our Seabourn Club loyalty program creates opportunities for repeat guests to save and benefit as they travel the world with Seabourn. Taken together, those benefits are our way of showing our appreciation for their loyalty year after year."

Here's a peek at some of the perks returning guests will find today from Seabourn:

Seabourn Club
The benefits of Seabourn's renowned Seabourn Club loyalty program have always been among the most valuable in the cruise industry, with various levels of membership granting distinctive rewards and options for personalization, including a generous selection of amenities and additional savings for returning guests to choose from and enjoy.

Seabourn Club benefits are redeemable based on six different membership levels – from Club Member to Diamond Elite Member status. Rewards are achieved by accruing one Seabourn Club Point for each day sailed on a Seabourn vessel, with additional Club Points available for days sailed in penthouse and premium suites, pre-cruise online purchases, onboard purchases, and days traveled on pre-, mid-, and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys. There are more than five-dozen rewards available to guests altogether: From "Onboard" amenities such as complimentary internet and telephone service, savings on shore excursions, premium wine & spirits, spa credits, and disembarkation/embarkation transfers, to "At Home" amenities such as complimentary magazine subscriptions, branded luggage tags, and savings on luggage shipping services – there is something for every member to enjoy.

The most popular Seabourn Club reward by far is a Milestone Cruise Award, including a complimentary cruise up to seven days redeemable at 140 Sailed Days, or a complimentary cruise up to 14 days redeemable at 250 Sailed Days.

Seabourn Club members will also be recognized with an onboard event and a special gift when they reach various Sailed Days Milestones from 100 Sailed Days to 2,500 Sailed Days.

Seabourn Club Savings
Launched in mid-2019, the new Seabourn Club Savings Program offers members an extra 5 percent savings on top of any other publicly offered savings on select Seabourn sailings and suite categories throughout the year. These savings are available to guests who have sailed with Seabourn and have at least one sailed day and one Seabourn Club point associated with their Club member number.

Club members are encouraged to book early, as new Seabourn Club Savings may be offered on sailings for a limited time, while savings amounts can vary and are applicable on select sailings and suite categories. For guests sailing on their first Seabourn cruise, the line will extend Club Savings to a future cruise booking provided they chose an eligible sailing.

Seabourn Club Referral Rewards
Seabourn is launching the NEW Seabourn Club Referral Rewards program, offering both the referring Club member and the first-time guest shipboard credits of $250USD per suite that can be combined with other Seabourn shipboard credit promotions. Even more enticing, all Seabourn Club members can now redeem up to two referral rewards on a single booking for a total reward of $500USD per suite

The referral process has also been updated and improved, with a new online system for registration, referrals and rewards redemptions. For more information about the new Seabourn Club Referral Rewards program, visit the Seabourn website.

Special Savings Opportunity for World Cruise Guests
As if all of the benefits above weren't enough for returning guests, Seabourn has a special offer for round-the-would cruisers. Guests who have a valid booking on the line's full 146-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Destinations aboard Seabourn Sojourn in January 2020 will be eligible for an additional five percent discount when booking the full 140-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans scheduled for departure in January 2021. Now that's something for returning guests to look forward to from every angle!

NCL Announces Strategic Initiatives To Strengthen Position In Alaska Cruise Market
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company operating the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced strategic initiatives that further strengthen its position in the fast growing, popular Alaska cruise market. The Company recently entered into a 30-year preferential berthing agreement with Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC. This agreement allows for construction of a new double ship pier in Ward Cove, Ketchikan, Alaska. The pier will be built to simultaneously accommodate two of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,000 passenger Breakaway Plus class ships and is expected to be ready for the summer 2020 season. In addition, the Company recently won a competitive bid for the last waterfront parcel in greater Juneau, Alaska and is engaging local stakeholders, including government, business and community leaders to develop a plan which will benefit both the city and its various stakeholders and the Company. These investments follow the Company’s announcement earlier this year of its partnership with Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation to develop a second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, Huna Totem’s world-class cruise ship destination in Hoonah, Alaska.

“The natural beauty of Alaska makes it one of the most popular destinations to visit, and our investments in the region will enable us to provide our guests with a best-in-class experience as they explore the wonders of the Last Frontier,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “These strategic initiatives mark the latest steps in our ongoing efforts to promote economic development in the region and make a positive economic and environmentally sensible impact on the Alaska tourism industry.”

The Icy Strait Point development will provide more cruise passengers with access to Icy Strait’s newly upgraded retail, restaurant and shore excursion amenities, including the world’s longest ZipRider zip line, the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching and fishing excursions. Scheduled for completion prior to the summer 2020 Alaska cruise season, the pier will be built to accommodate Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class ships. The partnership will provide the three Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands with preferential berthing rights in this popular port destination and allow the Company’s ships to increase calls to Icy Strait Point.

The new Wilderness Landing will cater to visitors in search of individualized experiences with the land, wildlife and native peoples of Alaska. As part of the expansion, Huna Totem Corporation is installing two gondolas and developing the upper part of Hoonah Mountain near its ZipRider attraction to offer additional experiences for visitors in 2020. To elevate the experience and maintain its natural setting, the Wilderness Landing will be a vehicle-free zone. Instead of needing an estimated 72 buses to move guests around the site, travelers will be able to move through the treetops between the Historic Cannery and Wilderness Landing on the Transporter, a high-speed gondola system installed by the world’s premiere lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr Lift Systems. The gondola is wheelchair and scooter accessible and capable of moving more than 5,600 visitors per hour in eight-person cabins.

Opening a few months later in mid-summer, a second gondola will take guests up the 1,600-foot Hoonah Mountain to the forested area around the ZipRider launch. The six-minute ride will unlock additional areas for exploration and afford spectacular views of icefields, the Fairweather Range and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit people. The mountain’s cliffs and rock formations naturally invite Alaska-sized adventure. Huna Totem Corporation will develop the wilderness expanse with new attractions for guests: a network of walking trails; a 340-foot suspension bridge swaying over a box-canyon with a 900-foot vertical drop; and a tour departure center for bear searches, ATV adventures, helicopter flightseeing and more will be added during the 2021 season. Guests may also enjoy an extended, top-of-the-mountain nature trail loop around a glacially carved reflecting pond.

In addition to its development initiatives in Alaska, the Company was awarded a much sought-after concession contract through 2029 allowing Norwegian Cruise Line to operate cruises within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Contracts were granted based on a competitive bid process which focused on various factors and environmental commitments such as air emissions, waste and wildlife protection. This contract went into effect October 1 and will enable the Company to provide premier Alaskan itinerary offerings to its guests as the spectacular scenery and wildlife of Glacier Bay is a must-see destination for any Alaska cruise. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. In addition to the spectacular sights, guests will also enjoy hearing from Cultural Heritage Guides which will accompany each voyage that sails into Glacier Bay as part of the Company’s partnership with Alaska Native Voices.

Previous investments in the region include a groundbreaking 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities to further enhance the overall guest experience. This investment was made in advance of the 2018 launch of Norwegian Bliss, which was designed with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruising experience. The enhancements were designed to provide guests with the perfect send-off to start their Alaskan adventure and included the expansion of guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet, a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to provide easy and comfortable passenger boarding. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000.

While guests experience all the beauty Alaska has to offer, the Company will continue to minimize its environmental footprint while sailing these pristine waters as part of the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies such as hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, which can be operated in a closed-loop setting. In 2017, the Company partnered with the Alaska Raptor Center (ARC), an avian hospital and rehabilitation center located in Sitka, Alaska, to help reduce the center’s energy consumption and waste production by investing in energy efficient equipment and the expansion of its recycling program. In 2018, the Company continued efforts to help the center inspire visitors to protect the environment by funding an interpretive nature trail on ARC’s 17-acre conservation property with the aim of connecting people to the natural environment through educational recreation and to enrich their experience as they learn more about the ecology of Southeast Alaska.

MSC Cruises Welcomes MSC Meraviglia To Her New Homeport In Miami
MSC Meraviglia — MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class smart ship — debuted in North America last month and, on Sunday, November 10, made her inaugural visit to Miami, her new homeport for her first winter season in the region. With a double occupancy capacity of 4,488 and gross tonnage of 171,598 GRT, MSC Meraviglia is MSC Cruises' largest ship sailing from the U.S., offering guests a completely distinct cruise experience.

"Since MSC Meraviglia arrived in the U.S. in October, we've seen tremendous excitement and buzz from our travel advisor partners and guests," said said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. "We are thrilled that MSC Meraviglia will now be part of the beautiful Miami skyline, joining MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia and MSC Divina. Due to significant demand, this is the first time MSC Cruises' has four distinct ships sailing the region, all offering an enriching experience inspired by our European heritage, while providing our guests even more choice and variety to best fit their vacation needs."

"We are grateful to our partners at MSC Cruises for their trust and commitment to growing their business in Miami-Dade County," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. "We welcome the MSC Meraviglia to the Cruise Capital of the World!"

"We welcome MSC Meraviglia with open arms," said Chairwoman of the Tourism and Ports Committee Rebeca Sosa. "We are very pleased the vessel will be joining MSC Cruises' line of cruise ships sailing out of PortMiami."

MSC Meraviglia's On Board Features

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia boasts an innovative and glamorous design that showcases MSC Cruises' signature European style. The ship's two-story Mediterranean-style promenade, feauturing the longest LED Dome at sea, is lined with a variety of shops and specialty restaurants — including HOLA! Tapas Bar and Ocean Cay, restaurants by two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, and Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, an open fronted chocolate atelier by world-renowned pastry chef, Jean Philippe Maury.

Entertainment is available around-the-clock with enriching activities for all ages. In addition to six different full-scale theatrical productions every night in the main theater, guests are also able to enjoy two distinct Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, VIAGGIO and SONOR — created exclusively for MSC Meraviglia in a purpose-built entertainment and dining venue, the Carousel Lounge. Immersive kids and family programs include a winter-themed aqua park with four water slides, a Himalayan bridge suspending cruisers high up above the ship, an interactive XD cinema, two full size bowling lanes and multiple LEGO-designed kids clubs.

Those looking for exclusivity and privacy – while still enjoying all the amenities and choice offered on a larger ship – can book their stay within the MSC Yacht Club, MSC Cruises' all-inclusive 'ship-within-a-ship' concept, featuring private amenities and 24-hour butler service.

Launched in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first next-generation innovative ship to feature MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital program designed to help guests get the most out of their vacation. By simply using an app, interactive displays and in-stateroom TV, guests are able to effortlessly book services, find information, plan activities, stay connected with friends and family and easily navigate around the ship.

MSC Meraviglia North American Itineraries and Experiences Ashore

Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia began her North American journey with three sailings from NYC, including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami.

From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020, MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries visiting ports in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and The Bahamas.

Following her inaugural season in Miami, MSC Meraviglia will return to Northern Europe for summer 2020 (April – October). Upon returning to the U.S. in October 2020, MSC Meraviglia will once again do three 10-night sailings from New York to Canada & New England before then homeporting back in Miami for 7-night Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Cruise Line Selects PepsiCo as Preferred Beverage Partner
PepsiCo, Inc. is partnering with Carnival Cruise Line to become the preferred beverage partner for its North American fleet. Beginning in January 2020, Carnival Cruise Line will begin serving a variety of beverages from the PepsiCo portfolio featuring premiere brands from Starbucks ready to drink coffee to fast-growing bubly sparkling water. When the transition is complete, Carnival guests will have a broad selection of beverage choices, from iced tea, sparkling water, coffee drinks and sports drinks to juices and soft drinks, including an array of low calorie and no sugar options.

"At Carnival Cruise Line, we invite our guests to Choose Fun, and now with PepsiCo's extensive portfolio of brands, we're able to give them more ways to choose a beverage that suits their taste, mood and preference," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "PepsiCo's line-up of beverages will give our guests access to leading brands in growing non-soda categories like iced tea, juice and sparkling water, as well as popular soft drink brands that consumers love. We're also excited to work with PepsiCo on our shared commitment to sustainability, including a reduced reliance on plastics, and alternative ways to deliver and serve water and other beverages."

As they cruise, Carnival Cruise Line guests will be able to enjoy some of their favorite PepsiCo brands such as bubly, Pure Leaf, Naked Juice, Gatorade, MTN Dew, Starbucks, Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Sierra Mist and Sierra Mist Zero Sugar among others.

"Our brands both celebrate having fun and offering something special for everyone, making PepsiCo and Carnival Cruise Line a great match," said Anne Fink, president of PepsiCo Global Foodservice. "We're excited to share the voyage as we create enjoyable, seamless experiences for Carnival Cruise Line passengers while they enjoy their fun vacations at sea and ashore."

As "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®," Carnival Cruise Line annually sails more than 5.2 million guests Its fleet of 26 ships will grow to 28 with the delivery of Carnival Panorama in December 2019 and Mardi Gras in August 2020.

Carnival Corporation Announces New Hires and Promotions in Ethics and Compliance Function
Carnival Corporation today announced seven new hires and internal promotions as part of the development of its new companywide ethics and compliance function, first announced in August 2019 and led by Peter Anderson, chief ethics and compliance officer.

The additions include three new corporate compliance leaders reporting directly to Anderson, who is building an extensive ethics and compliance program to drive a culture of compliance, learning and integrity inside the corporation and across its nine global cruise line brands. More specifically, the goal is to meet or exceed all legal and statutory requirements and promote the highest ethical principles.

"This new team underscores our commitment to ethics, compliance, the environment and health, safety and security," said Anderson. "We are in the process of developing a world-class, enduring culture of compliance among every one of our 150,000 employees. Compliance and ethics is at the heart of everything we do. The leadership, experience and passion of this very talented and determined team will play an instrumental role in our mission."

To promote full integration and teamwork around ethics and compliance throughout the entire corporation, these leaders will also work closely with other newly-selected leaders who are based within the various operating companies.

The ethics and compliance team leaders include the following personnel and positions:

Kelly Clark – Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
The deputy chief ethics and compliance officer will support the overall implementation of the ethics and compliance program with primary responsibility for interacting with the company's cruise line brands to maintain open communications, as well as monitor local program implementation.

In this capacity, Clark will also prioritize the ethics-focused elements of the ethics and compliance program, working across functional lines to understand and support existing program processes. She will also advocate for new systems and processes to improve program oversight, and will be responsible for spearheading other important program initiatives.

Under Clark's stewardship, Holland America Line and Seabourn – two Carnival Corporation brands currently organized under Holland America Group – have received Ethics Inside Certification since 2011 from Ethisphere, the provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. Ethisphere awards Ethics Inside Certification exclusively to companies that demonstrate the existence of a superior employee and leadership culture that promotes ethical business practices. Ethisphere also recognized Holland America Line to its World's Most Ethical Companies list for five consecutive years, from 2011 to 2015.

Clark previously served in various roles for Holland America Group, including as vice president, counsel and special advisor to the CEO; chief ethics officer and general counsel; and senior vice president, safety, environmental and regulatory services. She also worked as general counsel and chief ethics officer for Holland America Line and Seabourn.

Chris Donald – Senior Vice President, Environmental Corporate Compliance Manager
The environmental corporate compliance manager oversees and implements all legal obligations in Carnival Corporation's Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) as well as works with the independent parties conducting oversight and analysis of this plan. In addition to leading the environmental efforts within the brands, Donald is responsible for:

• driving improvements in waste management, technology and design (including food waste).

• establishing, monitoring and assessing key performance indicators for environmental compliance.

• overseeing the Environmental Officers who provide onboard environmental compliance oversight on all of the company's ships.

• driving and evolving the company's Operation Oceans Alive program designed to foster a culture of compliance, learning and ocean stewardship.

Since joining Carnival Corporation in 2007, Donald has held a number of key positions that will help him carry out his increased responsibilities. More specifically, he has previously supported the company's policy development, internal audits and investigations. Prior to his role in environmental compliance, he was also corporate senior director, safety and occupational safety, and led the company's Engine Room Fire Risk Mitigation program, which included the design and rollout of extensive upgrades to fire detection and suppression systems across the company's global fleet.

Gerry Ellis – Vice President, Health, Safety and Security Corporate Compliance Manager
The Health, Safety and Security (HSS) corporate compliance manager must ensure the regulatory compliance and effectiveness of the company's global HSS programs, as well as monitor the Maritime Policy and Analysis department to maintain compliance with applicable HSS-related policies and procedures.

Ellis has more than 40 years of industry experience, including over 23 years with Carnival Corporation. He served at sea for 18 years in a range of positions from deck cadet to captain on a variety of ships, including tankers, container ships, ferries, private yachts and cruise ships, in addition to shoreside management positions, including maritime investigations director, marine operations manager, port operations manager, director of port development, director of compliance, director of shipbuilding and design, director of safety policy; and vice president, marine and technical operations.

Martha de Zayas – Vice President, General Corporate Compliance Manager
Among the three corporate compliance managers, this position has the broadest range of compliance topics to oversee, including:

• codes of conduct, anti-corruption, anti-trust and anti-retaliation.

• conflicts of interest, third-party due diligence screening and economic sanctions/Office of Foreign Asset Control screening.

• North America data privacy and records retention.

• Americans with Disabilities Act shoreside and shipboard programs.

• the corporate Compliance Reporting Hotline program.

De Zayas joined Carnival Corporation in 1995 as associate general counsel, managing commercial and employee-related litigation. Since March 2018, she has served as vice president of ethics and compliance.

Sandra Rowlett – Vice President, Incident Analysis Group Investigations Leader
As the Incident Analysis Group investigations leader, Rowlett is responsible for all efforts to investigate certain Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) issues – including near misses – independently of the brands. She also manages the recently expanded team of nine investigators, and assists in improving the investigative functions throughout the entire organization.

For 28 years, Rowlett held various positions within the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including air traffic control investigator and senior executive with oversight of aviation, railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations. Before joining the NTSB, Rowlett was an air traffic controller for Los Angeles International Airport and the United States Air Force. She reports to Ellis.

H Jordan Weitz – Senior Director, Compliance Risk Management Leader
As the Compliance Risk Management leader, Weitz is responsible for developing a more proactive and strategic focus to the company's compliance programs grounded in data analytics, metrics and compliance risk assessments. Weitz has more than 20 years of experience, including 17 years in the cruise industry, covering all aspects of risk management including processes, risks, controls, audits, investigations, digital forensics and proactive analytics. He is also a certified fraud examiner. Weitz reports to Clark. Brigett Potts – Director, Compliance Training Leader
As the Compliance Training leader, Potts is responsible for reviewing and summarizing all current compliance training relating to the areas within the ethics and compliance function and program to: develop a corporate compliance training strategy and plan. measure training effectiveness. introduce new and innovative compliance training tools. implement basic ethics and compliance training for all employees. Potts joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2017 as the Environmental Regulatory and Operating Line Training Manager (OLTM). In October 2018, she became chairperson of the OLTM group, where her leadership exemplified a passion for training as she led process change across the organization. Prior to joining Carnival Cruise Line, she was an associate attorney handling cases in both federal and state courts. She reports to Donald.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.68 + 1.06%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.94 + 0.58%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.85 - 2.30%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.92 - 0.71%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
From the late 1800's until the Queen Mary entered service in 1936 the names of almost all of Cunard's fleet ended in a distinctive manner. How did they end and what was the significance of the ending?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - The SS Southern Cross, at 20,204gt, was the first engines and funnel aft passenger liner. Launched by Queen Elizabeth II and entered service in 1955. Followed by the larger Northern Star and Holme Lines Oceanic
courtesy of Malcolm Scanlan


Cruise News - November 4, 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line Takes Delivery of Norwegian Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in Bremerhaven, Germany.

This highly anticipated milestone begins a nearly month-long tour with preview events scheduled in Europe, New York and Miami, including the ship's naming ceremony on Nov. 21, 2019. In attendance were Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft executives.

Norwegian Cruise Line takes delivery of Norwegian Encore from Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. (From left to right: Yard Captain Wolfgang Thos of Meyer Werft; Captain Niklas Persson of Norwegian Encore; Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft; Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Harry Sommer, incoming president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line) "Today we celebrate the delivery of our 17th ship and the close of our history-making Breakaway Plus class – a feat that was made possible through a special collaboration with our partners at Meyer Werft," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Our dedication to creating next-level offerings on board, will allow us to continue to deliver meaningful experiences for our guests, when Norwegian Encore arrives home to Miami."

The nearly 1,100-foot-long Norwegian Encore, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of nearly 4,000, will embark on her first preview cruise from Bremerhaven, Germany on Oct.31, arriving to Southampton, England on Nov. 2. During the two-day voyage, guests will enjoy the Company's newest offerings including the largest and most exciting race track in the industry, the new Onda by Scarpetta, enhanced Galaxy Pavilion and open-air laser tag attractions, and the at-sea debut of the Tony Award®-winning Kinky Boots.

"We're happy to deliver another world-class ship to Norwegian Cruise Line," said Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft. "We are extremely proud of our partnership of over 16 years and honored to have been part of Norwegian Cruise Line's most successful class of ships. We are confident that Norwegian Encore will continue the Company's legacy of exceeding the expectations of its guests."

On Nov. 2, Norwegian Encore will commence her transatlantic voyage to the U.S., arriving to New York on Nov. 10 with a two-day preview scheduled from Nov. 11 to 13. She will then voyage to Miami for a series of events, concluding with the christening ceremony and celebration on Nov. 21, which includes a live performance by Norwegian Encore's godmother and Grammy Award-winning singer and television host Kelly Clarkson.

Taking the brand's exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world's longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the Company's history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award®-winning musical, "Kinky Boots" will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites "The Choir of Man," "Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical" and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

As part of a recent partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., Norwegian Encore will be the first ship in the Company to be plastic bottle free when she debuts. By Jan. 1, 2020 Norwegian Cruise Line will be the first major cruise line to eliminate plastic bottles across its entire fleet, a significant effort towards providing guests with more sustainable options at sea.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Carnival Sunrise Arrives In Fort Lauderdale
The totally transformed Carnival Sunrise arrived in her new homeport of Fort Lauderdale today to launch a schedule of four- and five-day Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from Port Everglades.

Today’s voyage – a sold-out five-day cruise to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman – marks the first of nearly 40 departures from Fort Lauderdale through May 2, 2020.

The ship’s inaugural call at Port Everglades was marked with a traditional maritime plaque exchange with port and government officials, as well as a reception and lunch for local dignitaries and travel agents.

Carnival Sunrise debuted earlier this year following an extensive $200 million renovation that is part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program.

“We are pleased to bring Carnival Sunrise to Port Everglades, providing our guests with more options in sailing from South Florida,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Since debuting earlier this year, the ship has received rave reviews from our guests offering exciting enhancements and the amazing service that our crew always deliver.”

New features on Carnival Sunrise include:

• Casual F&B options: Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to the Lido Marketplace, an expanded ice cream station, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.

• Specialty dining: The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.

• Shopping and Personal Care: A Cherry on Top sweet shop, Pixels photo gallery, expanded retail outlets and renovated fitness and spa facilities.

• Outdoor Decks and Attractions: A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf.

• Youth & Family Entertainment: Dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17, as well as an arcade.

• Theater & Live Entertainment: The Punchliner Comedy Club in the new Limelight Lounge, Playlist Productions shows in the Liquid Lounge, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and the popular sing-along piano bar.

• Staterooms and Suites: Two redesigned Captain’s Suites and updates to all staterooms. Carnival Sunrise’s Fort Lauderdale-based schedule includes four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28, 2019. Four-day “long weekend” cruises will call at tropical ports like Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Grand Turk and Nassau, while five-day cruises will visit seaside destinations in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic and Grand Turk. Following her Fort Lauderdale-based schedule, in May 2020, Carnival Sunrise will return to Norfolk and New York for the summer to offer a wide variety of four- to twelve-day cruises including wide-ranging destinations. These cruises include five- and six-day cruises to The Bahamas from Norfolk as well as four-day “long weekend” cruises to Bermuda, and eight- to twelve-day cruises to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Costa Rica and Panama Canal from New York.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Three New LNG Ships
As previously announced in 2016 and 2017, Disney Cruise Line is building three additional cruise ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver.

The ships will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

The three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

First Details on Newest Ship

Disney Cruise Line revealed the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish, as well as a first look at the ship’s elegant, three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern.

The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.

“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

A new rendering reveals a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.

Stern characters – a beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels – have been a tradition of the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.

“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories. The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic,” Chapek added.

Royal Caribbean Introduces Royal Beach Club
Royal Caribbean International has announced its newest mission: delivering the ultimate beach day.

The company said its first Royal Beach Club will launch in Antigua, along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Antigua and Barbuda for the project, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Built for Royal Caribbean International guests, The Royal Beach Club at Fort James will combine the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities.

Curated as the ultimate beach experience, the Royal Beach Club Collection will bring the unique features and flavors of each destination to life. In Antigua, guests can take in the island’s exceptional views from private cabanas or plunge into a stunning pool and swim up to the bar to order a classic rum punch.

“The Royal Beach Club Collection is an adventure we cannot wait to reveal to our guests,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have incredible partners in the government of Antigua and Barbuda to bring the first of our collection to life. Together, we are designing an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and will create significant economic benefits and opportunities for local employment for years to come.”

The Honorable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Investments, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, said: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda welcomes this multimillion-dollar investment into our tourism product by Royal Caribbean. The economic impact into our economy is projected to be approximately $80 million USD from direct revenue to the Government over the next 30 years and over $1 billion USD in indirect revenue during the same period.”

Fernandez continued: “The project will also provide meaningful employment to Antiguans and Barbudans for both the construction phase and the operations of the project for years to come. We are truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbean’s first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin island state.”

The Royal Beach Club concept builds on the remarkable success of Royal Caribbean’s new Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas but will be a distinctly different experience for guests. “With Royal Beach Club, we’re starting with a great day at a beautiful beach, and adding even more services and activities,” Bayley said. “Each location will feature local food and music, family activities and custom attractions to give everyone plenty of options on how to spend their day by the ocean.”

Though Royal does not expect to release specific designs for the Antigua destination for several months, the company expects to offer regional fare, island-style BBQs and live music, along with unforgettable experiences, including such thrills as wave runners, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a family splash pad and stunning pool with swim-up bar.

Cruise tourism is growing globally, with an anticipated 50% growth in the Caribbean over the next decade. Through land-based destinations, such as Royal Caribbean’s recently announced Perfect Day Lelepa in the South Pacific, and the new Royal Beach Club concept, the company is supporting its expanding fleet of award-winning, innovative ships.

Carnival Cruise Line to Increase Capacity in Alaska with Carnival Freedom Sailing from Seattle in 2021
Carnival Cruise Line will increase its presence in Alaska, deploying Carnival Freedom from Seattle beginning in April 2021, operating Carnival’s popular week-long Glacier Route voyages, and joining Carnival Miracle which will operate 10- and 11-day Alaska cruises from San Francisco beginning in May 2021.

“Alaska is a ‘bucket list’ destination that offers a unique combination of fascinating wildlife and unique cultural and sightseeing opportunities. We’re delighted to provide our guests with even more opportunities to Choose Fun as they experience and explore the beauty and majesty of Alaska,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Freedom’s Week-Long Alaska Voyages from Seattle Carnival Freedom will operate 21 Alaska cruises from the Port of Seattle April 27 to Sept. 22, 2021, departing every Tuesday. Port calls on the week-long Glacier Route voyages include Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria, B.C., and scenic cruising of Tracy Arm Fjord. There’s also an eight-day cruise featuring Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.

Carnival Freedom offers a wide range of onboard amenities, including dining venues ranging from casual choices like Bonsai Sushi Express and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri to an elegant reservations-only steakhouse, along with a luxurious spa and a spectacular WaterWorks aqua park. Hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites — perfect for watching the passing scenery — are available as well.

Prior to its Alaska program, Carnival Freedom will operate a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise from Galveston to Seattle April 10-27, 2021, with stops in Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Following its summer in Alaska, Carnival Freedom will reposition from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale with a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal sailing Sept. 22-Oct. 9, 2021, calling in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico before launching a winter schedule of six- and eight-day eastern and southern Caribbean cruises beginning Oct. 9, 2021.

Carnival Miracle’s Two- to 16-Day Voyages from San Francisco and San Diego Carnival Miracle, which launches Carnival’s first-ever service from San Francisco in March 2020, will return to San Francisco in 2021 to operate a summer schedule of 10- and 11-day Alaska cruises that visit some of the region’s most beautiful and popular ports. Ten-day cruises call at Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point or Ketchikan, Victoria, and scenic cruising of Tracy Arm while the 11-day cruises include calls in both Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan. The ship will also operate a series of 16-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruises. The program also includes unique four-day long weekend cruises to Ensenada.

Carnival Miracle will also sail from San Diego in 2021-22 offering two- to six-day voyages visiting a variety of destinations in Mexico and Baja California, including Ensenada, Catalina Island, and Cabo San Lucas, as well as series of 15-day Carnival Journeys cruises to Hawaii. Carnival Miracle’s San Diego-based schedule runs from Oct. 3, 2021 to April 18, 2022.

George Takei to Headline Queen Mary 2's Holiday Voyage
Actor, author and activist George Takei will headline the holiday voyage on Cunard’s flagship liner Queen Mary 2 as part of the luxury cruise line’s renowned Insights program, December 22, 2019 - Jan 3, 2020.

While sailing on the 12-night Caribbean Celebration voyage, roundtrip out of New York, George will be offering two presentations, a Q&A, and a book signing for guests. His first talk will focus on American history and his childhood spent in a Japanese American internment camp during WWII. In his second lecture, George will discuss his favorite Hollywood moments and behind-the-scenes anecdotes with some of his famous friends such as Tom Hanks, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Brad Pitt, Howard Stern, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jane Fonda.

“I am looking forward to spending the holidays onboard the magnificent ocean liner Queen Mary 2 this December,” Takei said. “I have sailed on this ship before – the staff go above and beyond to make every day memorable and the guests are engaging and interested to hear about my life and work. I have no doubt this will be another exceptional experience.”

An internationally beloved figure, George is most notably known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise, in the acclaimed TV series Star Trek. His acting career has spanned six decades including appearances on the TV series Fresh Off the Boat, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Will & Grace, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among others.

Takei is the author of five books, including his autobiography To the Stars, and his latest graphic memoir, the New York Times bestseller They Called Us Enemy, which debuted in July 2019. He first sailed with Cunard as an Insights speaker in 2014 when Queen Mary 2 screened the documentary “To be Takei,” about his journey from imprisoned child to pop culture icon.

George is an activist for LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, and has won several awards and accolades for his work on human rights and Japan-U.S. relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum, where he is chairman emeritus and a trustee. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S-Japan relations.

“It’s been said that George Takei is arguably one of the most recognizable Asian-American figures alive, and we are thrilled to welcome him back on our flagship Queen Mary 2’s holiday voyage,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Our guests will relish the opportunity to learn from George about his life – his struggles and successes – in an exclusive experience, continuing Cunard’s legacy of hosting ‘Stars Aboard.’”

Cunard’s onboard Insights program offers guests an unmatched opportunity to learn from and mingle with captivating experts from various industries on every voyage, holding lectures and Q&As throughout the trip. Recent speakers have included Alan Cumming, Keegan-Michael Key and John Landis. In addition, Cunard is offering extraordinary special event voyages in the remainder of 2019 and 2020 celebrating fashion, ancestry, astronomy, wine and more.

Disney Cruise Line to Provide Free Texting to Crew Members
Today, Disney Cruise Line announced it will provide complimentary texting to crew members onboard its ships, making it easier for shipboard teams to stay connected to their loved ones while working away from home.

"We recognize how important it is for our crew members to be able to stay in touch with their families and friends, and we're proud to provide this benefit," said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. "This is another way Disney continues to provide a great crew experience for our shipboard teams."

Disney Cruise Line is the first major cruise line to provide this complimentary service. Crew members with iOS and Android devices will be able to send and receive text messages while onboard for free. The service will launch today onboard the Disney Magic and will be available fleet wide in the next few weeks.

Disney Cruise Line crew members represent more than 80 different nationalities. Crew members and Officers enjoy highly competitive benefits and employment advantages as well as ongoing training and development opportunities, as they sail aboard award-winning ships to the world's most celebrated destinations. Recognized as the top cruise line for families and a leader in hospitality and entertainment, Disney Cruise Line offers unique career opportunities for those seeking to grow, innovate and succeed with one of the world's most creative companies.

Since its launch in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer. Disney Cruise Line features a fleet of four ships – the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Guests can sail out of ports around the world on exciting itineraries to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Hawaii, Alaska and Europe, among others.

Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its horizons, with new ships scheduled for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The name of the highly anticipated fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Wish, was recently announced along with the ship's featured stern characters – Rapunzel and her feisty sidekick Pascal. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.21 - 0.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.28 + 0.96%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.87 - 1.14%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.29 + 0.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship was called ConOx for a short period of time in the early 1960's and why?

Answer - The Conox was originally TSS Fairstar (Fairstar, the Fun Ship), an Australian cruise ship operating out of Sydney for almost 25 years. She was originally built as the troopship Oxfordshire and later changed into the Fairstar for immigrant voyages and later still, cruising.
courtesy of Julius Crone, Mount Vernon, New York


Cruise News - October 28, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes Carnival Panorama
With this week's delivery of Carnival Panorama at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially welcomes its 27th ship and the third vessel in the popular Vista class. Carnival Panorama will now head to Long Beach, Calif. for its naming ceremony and inaugural sailing in December.

"Carnival Panorama is the 15th ship built by Fincantieri for Carnival Cruise Line and once again, the skill and hard work of hundreds of talented craftspeople are on display here aboard the beautiful Carnival Panorama," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our guests absolutely love Carnival Vista and Horizon and we are certain they are going to love their sister Carnival Panorama."

Carnival Panorama will launch year-round service from Long Beach, Calif., on Dec. 11, becoming the line's first new ship homeported on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

As the name implies, Carnival Panorama reflects design inspiration with more opportunities to connect with the sea. The ship features a number of innovations including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea as well as a first-in-fleet culinary studio where guests can participate in hands-on cooking classes, tastings and other food-related activities hosted by the ship's chefs.

Carnival Panorama also offers a variety of longtime guest favorites such as a massive WaterWorks aqua park, Sky Ride, the popular bike in the sky with breathtaking views, a suspended ropes course and dining venues like Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites from Food Network star and longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri along with craft beers brewed on board.

A wide range of staterooms and suites are available as well, including spa staterooms with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-spacious staterooms in Family Harbor and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Norwegian Spirit To Undergo Over $100 Million Revitalization
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today provided further detail about Norwegian Spirit's upcoming renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, which reaffirms the company's commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

Norwegian Spirit will enter dry dock in Marseille, France on Jan. 2, 2020 for an over $100 million revitalization. As part of the nearly 40-day renovation, the ship will emerge featuring 14 new venues, additional staterooms and an expanded Mandara Spa. New complimentary dining venues will be introduced including an additional main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, The Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden Café; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar. Making their debut are Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge, which features the Humidor Cigar Lounge. Splash Academy, the children's waterpark, will be replaced with the adults-only retreat Spice H2O, a daytime lounge featuring two new hot tubs and a dedicated bar, which transforms into an after-hours entertainment venue. Mandara Spa will double in size to nearly 7,000 square feet and include a relaxation area with heated loungers, a new Jacuzzi room, a sauna, steam room and water therapy experience. The expansion of Pulse Fitness Center will allow guests to begin or maintain their fitness routine while at sea. The ship will also debut contemporary hull art.

In addition, the Company is announcing the introduction of Onda by Scarpetta on board Norwegian Spirit, joining the portfolio of critically acclaimed Scarpetta restaurants in New York City and the Hamptons, N.Y.; Miami; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; Newport, R.I.; London; and aboard Norwegian Encore debuting this November. The name Scarpetta is derived from the Italian expression, 'fare la Scarpetta,' which means to savor a meal to the last bite. Onda, or 'wave' in Italian, will adapt the same ethos and bring the charm and effortless elegance of its urbane Scarpetta sister to the sea. Reaffirming the Company's commitment to providing elevated dining experiences across the fleet, guests will enjoy the rich and bold flavors the modern Italian restaurant will be known for, including a selection of beautifully prepared seafood.

Drawing inspiration from the brand's most recent and highly successful newbuilds, the updated elements on board Norwegian Spirit will take the guest experience to the next level.

"As we continue to introduce new innovative ships to our fleet, with Norwegian Encore making her debut next month, we are committed to ensuring that the experiences our guests have come to enjoy are available on even our most storied ships," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are excited to reinvigorate Norwegian Spirit so that she continues to provide lasting memories for guests as they sail to some of the most exotic destinations around the world."

With extended itineraries of eight to 24 days calling to some of the most desired destinations across three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe - Norwegian Spirit will emerge from Marseille featuring more elevated and sophisticated offerings.

Norwegian Spirit will sail out of dry dock in February 2020 to offer some of the most sought-after itineraries around the world including 10 new ports of call. She will be the first in the Company's fleet to visit Bali (Celun Bawang), Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia; Beppu, Kumamoto, Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan; Taipei (Keelung) Taiwan; and Yangon, Myanmar. Following two, 20-day exotic expeditions exploring Greece, Israel, Egypt and Abu Dhabi from Rome (Civitavecchia); and Seychelles, Madagascar and South Africa from Dubai; she will offer a series of destination-rich voyages to Southeast Asia, China and Japan from Singapore; Hong Kong, China; and Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan through 2020.

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported record third quarter US GAAP earnings of $4.20 per share and adjusted earnings of $4.27 per share which include a $0.13 negative impact from Hurricane Dorian. Royal Caribbean also updated its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share, which includes a negative impact of approximately $0.15 per share from Hurricane Dorian.

"Our business continues to thrive and exceed our expectations," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "While Hurricane Dorian had a negative impact, stronger demand for our brands and our key itineraries exceeded our expectations. Excluding the hurricane impact, we are not only able to maintain our yield and earnings guidance, but to raise both slightly as a result of particularly strong performance in the US and China."

Hurricane Impact

Hurricane Dorian had an unusual, one-time impact on our financial performance. Three main Florida embarkation ports closed on a weekend as a precautionary measure. These measures impacted 16 sailings and made this the most disruptive storm in Royal Caribbean's history. The financial impact was particularly large because the affected ships included our very successful Oasis-class, because we closed Perfect Day at Cococay for 10 days, and because of our extensive relief efforts. The combination of guest compensation, the closure of Perfect Day at Cococay and the relief efforts negatively impacted the third quarter by $27 million or $0.13 per share and the full year by approximately $30 million or $0.15 per share.

THIRD QUARTER 2019

US GAAP Net Income for the third quarter of 2019 was $883.2 million or $4.20 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $896.8 million or $4.27 per share. These results include the negative impact of $27 million or $0.13 per share from itinerary disruptions and relief efforts related to Hurricane Dorian. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $810.4 million or $3.86 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $836.3 million or $3.98 per share.

Gross Yields were up 6.6% and Net Yields were up 6.4% in Constant-Currency, slightly better than guidance when considering the impact of the hurricane which reduced revenue by $21 million and slightly reduced yields.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 7.5% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 11.0% in Constant-Currency. The reduction in capacity and relief efforts related to the hurricane negatively impacted this metric by 150 basis points. Absolute costs for the quarter were significantly better than expected, due to timing.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the third quarter was $469.93 per metric ton and consumption was 379,600 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2019 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said tht it expects full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share. This range includes the negative impact of approximately $0.15 per share from Hurricane Dorian. Excluding this impact, we are increasing the midpoint of our guidance by $0.08 per share.

Royal Caribbean said tht it expects a Net Yield increase of approximately 8.0% in Constant-Currency and approximately 6.75% As-Reported. Royal Caribbean's booking strength has completely offset the negative yield impact related to Hurricane Dorian.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to be up approximately 11.0% in Constant-Currency and up approximately 10.5% As-Reported. The increase in this updated guidance is driven by the reduction in capacity and relief efforts from the hurricane together with a further increase in technology and product development investments. These expenses are being offset by expected favorability from activities below the line.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said tht it estimates 2019 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share.

"2019 is shaping up to be another year of solid yield growth and record earnings despite some unusual headwinds," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "As we enter 2020, we are particularly enthusiastic about the new ship deliveries, the development of new destinations, our fleet modernization and technology initiatives. These investments will help us deliver even greater vacations while generating higher yields and better returns."

FOURTH QUARTER 2019

Net Yields are expected to be up approximately 6.75% in Constant-Currency and approximately 6.25% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 300 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. These Net Yields were negatively impacted by approximately 140 basis points related to the abrupt discontinuation of the Cuba sailings.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD for the quarter are expected to increase approximately 14.5% in Constant-Currency and approximately 14.25% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 300 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. As it relates to the year-over-year cadence, the fourth quarter includes a higher number of drydocks affecting the cost metric by approximately 600 basis points. Costs for the quarter are also impacted by the timing of expenses from the previous quarter, a further increase in technology and product development investments and relief efforts related to the hurricane. These expenses are expected to be partially offset by anticipated favorability from activities below the line.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said tht it expects fourth quarter Adjusted EPS to be approximately $1.40 per share.

2020 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said tht it is experiencing strong early booking trends for 2020. Rates are higher than same time last year in all four quarters, booked load factors are ahead of same time last year on a like-for-like basis and the booking window has extended. The market response to Celebrity Apex which will debut in April; Odyssey of the Seas to be delivered in the fall, and Silversea Moon and Silversea Origin to be delivered during the summer, has been excellent. Royal Caribbean said tht it is particularly excited with the demand for Perfect Day at Cococay, its private destination in the Bahamas, which has been opening in phases since May 2019. While still early in the booking cycle, the view for 2020 is encouraging and the company expects another year of solid yield and earnings growth.

Sky Princess Begins Inaugural Season in Europe
Sky Princess, the first purpose built Princess MedallionClass ship, recently set sail on her inaugural season in Europe. Representing an evolution of the design platform used for her sister Royal-Class ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess - the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess offers an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that Princess is known for, in addition to new distinct features.

Introduced on Sky Princess are new luxury Sky Suites boasting expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

With the debut of Sky Princess, Princess Cruises marks the first time a ship has been built as a Princess MedallionClass™ ship. Powered by the OceanMedallion™, the global hospitality industry's most advanced wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver a new level of service for a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES® 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

Royal Caribbean Unveils Bold Featyres On New Odyssey of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International is setting an uncharted course for adventure with the cruise line’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America will tout a brand-new look to match the fleet’s most action-packed top deck to date, and a mix of record-holding hits and groundbreaking firsts for a game-changing cruise vacation. Odyssey’s dialed-up onboard adventures, two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, and a collection of restaurants primed to please every palate will all be set against some of the world’s most picturesque backdrops, including the vibrant islands of the Caribbean and idyllic coasts of the eastern Mediterranean.

Bold in every direction, Odyssey’s highlights include the ultimate SeaPlex activity space that delivers a dose of adrenaline with new thrills, a little friendly competition and the most interactive arcade at sea. Adding to the mix, Odyssey will debut a reimagined Adventure Ocean where young adventure seekers can choose their own immersive experiences across an entirely new layout, while a new maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies will provide endless hangout options indoors and outdoors on an exclusive patio. When it’s time to refuel, guests can enjoy the new Teppanyaki restaurant serving Far East flavors, and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar with rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair. Entertainment across the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for surrounding, jaw-dropping performances only on Odyssey.

“Odyssey of the Seas will set an all-new standard created to deliver the most memorable vacations by combining immersive experiences, the best of Royal Caribbean’s trendsetting innovations and the signature ‘Royal Way’ service of our dedicated crew members,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “This Quantum Ultra Class ship introduces a new way to see the world as she becomes our first purposefully built vessel for island hopping on both sides of the Atlantic.”

In November 2020, the ship’s inaugural year will kick off in the Caribbean’s clear blue waters and far-flung destinations like Curaçao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on 8- and 6-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Odyssey will then sail to her homeport of Rome in May 2021 and become the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise Europe for the summer. Ashore, travelers can explore storied towns in Turkey and Greece, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the ruins of Ephesus, the ancient Acropolis of Athens, the classic Cycladic architecture of Mykonos and more. Odyssey will share a whole new perspective of some of the world’s most legendary shores from 300 feet above sea level in the iconic North Star glass capsule, boasting 360-degree views.

New Level of Play
It’s all about the journey and adrenaline-inducing adventure when thrill seekers take on Odyssey’s top deck. The Quantum Ultra Class ship will introduce the next generation of Royal Caribbean’s signature SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, where the whole crew can partake in pastimes together or solo. The most interactive arcade to ever sail will dominate the upper level of SeaPlex with VR games for individual and group play, augmented reality walls and floors for high-tech competitions and family experiences.

Travelers can feed their need for speed while dodging and dashing their way across a full-sized sports court with the only bumper cars at sea or soar from a flying trapeze. The space will also double as a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena, pitting Yetis and Snow Shifters against each other as they battle for survival and control of the mythical ice city in Clash for the Crystal City.

Combining the best of Quantum Class with new Royal Caribbean favorites, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade boasts a prime location within SeaPlex, with TVs at every angle to cheer on the home team. Offering club-level views of the competition below and onscreen, sports enthusiasts will catch every play on the court and back at home. Gameday bar fare like buffalo wings, sliders and the signature Playmakers Burger, alongside ice-cold brews, will make for the perfect snack. Guests can also enjoy classic board games, step up to the most interactive arcade at sea, play trivia and pool. Also available is the Owner’s Box VIP area for an MVP experience.

Vacationers will max out memory-making moments, whether catching waves on the signature FlowRider surf simulator and feeling the freedom of freefall on RipCord by iFly – the skydiving simulator – or scaling the 40-foot rock wall. Adrenaline seekers can also defy gravity with SkyPad, the bungee trampoline experience that transports travelers to another time, place or planet using a VR headset.

Primed to Unwind
Odyssey’s vibrant, two-level pool deck will offer a variety of options to sit back and soak up the sun with two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools, surrounded by plenty of shady casitas and hammocks. Nearby, The Lime & Coconut serves up two stories of prime pool-front views and vacation-mode libations, keeping the island vibes going all day and into the night. Guests can enjoy grab-and-go, authentic Mexican fare at El Loco Fresh, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas and an array of fresh salsas.

For a splash-filled day, the youngest globe-trotters can head to Splashaway Bay, an aqua park that boasts colorful waterslides, fountains, water cannons and more. Adults can retreat to the Solarium, an exclusive space on the top deck, for some much needed “me time,” including swimming pools and whirlpools, a full-service bar, daybeds and hidden nooks for ultimate relaxation.

Teched-Out Entertainment
The global cruise line’s 27th ship will up the ante on Royal Caribbean signature productions, featuring unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects. Fusing art and technology, Two70 boasts 270-degree panoramic windows with sweeping ocean views from an expansive open area living room, which transforms in plain sight into a 135-foot-wide and 22-foot-tall screen, captivating onlookers into another world with its Vistarama technology. As day turns into night, the iconic venue at the aft of the ship becomes a multidimensional theater – where a troupe of six agile Roboscreens come to life in sync with music, special effects and multitalented live performers and aerialists – to create unimaginable visuals.

Guests looking to hit up the dance floor can head to Music Hall for an always-changing set list of live performances but not before grabbing a drink at the Bionic Bar. While some of the best cover bands take center stage, music lovers can dance, sit back and sing along with friends, or take it all in from intimate lounge spaces.

Diverse Dining
Culinary cravings will be met with options to please every palate. Never before seen in North America is Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving authentic oriental flavors cooked in one of Japan’s traditional styles. Whether ordering top-grade steaks or succulent seafood, the Far East dishes are prepared and served with a sizzle at the table. Also joining the lineup is Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Royal Caribbean’s new take on its signature Italian trattoria. Inviting guests to gather for authentically rustic dishes, from hand-tossed pizzas fresh out of the oven and made to order, to charcuterie delights, the elevated menu caps off this “Sunday supper” experience with a wide selection of wines and limoncellos from many of Italy’s well-known regions. Travelers can also expect to find Royal Caribbean favorites, including sushi and sashimi at Izumi, hand-cut steaks at Chop’s Grille, the Chef’s Table epicurean intimate experience and imaginative cuisine at Wonderland.

Panama Canal Cruise Unlike Any Other Cruise
On a cruise through the ingenious 105-year-old Panama Canal, you may find yourself wondering how far the human mind can go in its quest to find solutions. As your ship slowly traverses the 50-mile manmade shortcut through the jungle between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, howler monkeys screech in the distance and electric "mules" (locomotives) with ropes guide your ship through a series of locks and gates and across manmade lakes. It is an innovation for the ages, and it is hard not to feel inspired.

"A Panama Canal cruise is unlike any other you'll experience," says Colleen McDaniel, a writer and a big fan of Panama Canal cruises. "The main draw is the actual crossing of the canal, and to be able to do so on a ship is absolutely incredible. You can perch yourself in a viewing area and watch the mechanical marvel front and center. You simply can't replicate that experience with a land visit."

Panama Canal cruises embark from ports in Florida and California, such as Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles, as well as from other ports in the U.S., Canada and Europe, in fall, winter (including popular holiday sailings) and spring. Most itineraries are 10 days or more.

Cruise guests can book either a one-way passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific (or vice versa) for what's known as a full transit; or a round-trip partial crossing from Florida, which lets you experience some of the locks of the canal and beautiful manmade Gatun Lake, a waterway surrounded by rainforest and teaming with wildlife.

Six of Carnival Corporation's nine cruise line brands offer travelers plenty of options, with more ships sailing through the Panama Canal than any other cruise company. A total of 26 cruise ships from its Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises brands are scheduled to do more than 70 partial or full transits in the 2019-2020 season.

In 1967, Princess Cruises was the first cruise line through the Panama Canal, and today it carries more guests through the waterway than any other cruise line – this season with five ships, the line's largest-ever deployment in the canal.

McDaniel says it's important to pick the sailing that's right for you, whether you do a full or partial crossing.

"There are pros to both options, but be sure to do your research to understand what each has to offer," she says. "We always recommend familiarizing yourself with the history of the Panama Canal as well. Crossing it truly is an amazing experience, and it's made even more so when you know the whole history."

That history began when the Spanish first did a survey in the 1500s, looking for a way to get gold and silver from the Pacific back home to Spain, without having to go all the way around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. They decided the task was impossible. The French began construction of the canal in 1880. Their goal was to become the world's most powerful country by opening the shipping route. When they failed, the United States took over. After many years, and a loss of thousands of lives, the Panama Canal opened on August 15, 1914 – a feat of both engineering and human endurance.

"You are looking at something built over 100 years ago and operating the exact same way today as it did on Day 1," says Lance Schuler, a cruise and travel director for Holland America Line who has crossed the canal more than 100 times, most recently on the Zuiderdam. "It's amazing to think that nothing has changed on the Panama Canal in over 100 years with the exception of the installation of lights. We could not build something to last this long today like we did then. As a matter of fact, when they were building the new, larger 'Neo-Panamax' locks that opened in 2016, they had to repour the concrete twice to get it right."

Schuler says he never tires of the experience – which takes about eight to nine hours for a full crossing.

"I love being outside on deck, watching the operation, waving at the mule drivers," Schuler says. "You're at an amazing place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the top engineering feats ever constructed."

Adding to the excitement is the fact your ship won't be the only one going through the canal.

"You may have another cruise ship beside you," Schuler says. "I've been through with a submarine next to us, big sailing ships. It's funny because everyone's out on deck taking pictures of each other, even the tankers and the cargo ships."

During the crossing, a Panama Canal expert will be on board your ship doing a narration of history and facts over the PA system.

Itineraries on either side of the Panama Canal vary, but guests have opportunities to enjoy the diverse cultures of Central and South America as well as some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

You might, for instance, zipline through a rainforest while spotting sloths and other wildlife in Costa Rica, hang out on the coral sands and crystal-clear waters of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, and ogle the flamingoes and others among the 1,900 species of birds at the Colombia National Aviary.

There are also relaxing days at sea where you can lounge around the pools, hit the casino and the spa, and enjoy other features and activities on your ship. Special activities will focus on the region you are visiting. Carnival Cruise Line, for instance, has culinary and entertainment experiences including arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations and celestial navigation on its Carnival Journeys transits. Holland America Line has Explorations Central programming focusing on the region's local traditions and cultural experiences and regional dishes on menus.

On a partial crossing, your ship may anchor in Gatun Lake for tender service to shore for excursions that may include opportunities to kayak in the canal or visit an island inhabited by thousands of capuchin monkeys and other wildlife. Schuler's favorite excursion takes guests by dugout canoe up the Chagres River to visit an Emberá Native village of grass huts built on stilts, for a dance performance. The Emberá people maintain pre-colonial traditions and lifestyle as keepers of the rainforest.

Your cruise may choose to visit colonial sights in Panama City at the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center with its museum displays and IMAX theater or the biodiversity-focused, Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute.

McDaniel says guests on Panama Canal sailings tend to have a common interest in the canal as a bucket list experience.

"There are a number of destinations that are best seen by ship – and the Panama Canal is one of the top places," she says. "If you're interested in the Panama Canal, there is absolutely nothing better than hopping on a cruise and experiencing it first-hand."

The cruises are a good value and expand on your typical Caribbean or Mexican Riviera itinerary, McDaniel adds.

"The value for these cruises is excellent," she says. "Passengers are able to visit unique ports along the way. Many of them aren't on typical itineraries. Plus, enrichment and educational opportunities abound, which is what people crave when they cross the Panama Canal. It's the kind of trip you'll be talking about for a lifetime."

Cunard Collaborates with Dark Revolution to Create Selection of Craft Beers
Cunard announced this week that it has partnered with award-winning microbrewery, Dark Revolution, to create a trio of craft beers now available exclusively on Cunard's Three Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. The beverage collection features a 'Black' Stout, a 'Red' IPA, and a 'Gold' Pilsner and are the latest addition to Cunard's custom beverage collection onboard.

Cunard Black is a handcrafted Biscotti Breakfast Stout, inspired by Cunard's legacy of world navigation with flavors from around the globe. The beer balances flavors of oats and dark roasted British malts with Sumatran coffee, Spanish almonds and Madagascan vanilla to create a stout beer with a touch of sweetness. Cunard Red is a handcrafted IPA with a gentle nod to Cunard's transatlantic crossings, combining American hops and British malts for fruity and citrus flavors and aromas. Cunard Gold is a classic handcrafted Pilsner, with fragrant hops and British malts combining for a German-style Pilsner.

The new craft beers are available on tap, in 12-oz cans and as a Tasting Flight in the Golden Lion Pub onboard, joining Cunard's collection of select beverages including the 3 Queens Gin, Cunard Private Label and Cunard Private Reserve wines.

"Dark Revolution is known for their outstanding quality, balance and finish and we are very excited to partner with the brewery in creating these exclusive blends, adding to Cunard's exceptional selection of beverages onboard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America.

All three Cunard beers are available through the in-cabin room service menu and in all bars and restaurants onboard. The draught beers are priced from $6.80 and a Tasting Flight is $6.90, while the 12-oz cans start from $6.00. The brews are included as part of the World of Drinks 'Beers Wines & Spirits Option' and join Cunard's additional 42 different types of beers and ciders available onboard.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.33 + 2.81%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.20 + 0.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 + 4.76%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.89 + 1.84%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship was called ConOx for a short period of time in the early 1960's and why?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In 1992 Radisson Cruise Lines introduced the Radisson Diamond, one of the oddest looking cruise ships ever. What was the technical term for her unique hull design and what does it stand for?

Answer - Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) is a twin-hull ship design that minimizes hull volume in the surface area of the sea. By minimizing hull volume in the sea's surface, where wave energy is located, the vessel becomes very stable, even in high seas and at high speeds.
courtesy of Julius Crone, Mount Vernon, New York


Cruise News - October 21, 2019

Seabourn Outlines Details For 'The Colonnade' Dining Venue
Seabourn is busy preparing for the launch of its new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, set to begin cruising in June 2021. Travelers on Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will find a wealth of masterfully crafted onboard spaces, including The Colonnade, where guests can find a variety of delicious meal options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The venue is part of the eight dining experiences expedition travelers will enjoy onboard the forthcoming expedition ships.

Renowned designer Adam D. Tihany has shaped public spaces that capture the romanticism of early explorers with the vibrant energy of present day, invoking a timeless sense of adventure while maintaining the familiarity of the venues that past guests have grown to enjoy. Specific details of The Colonnade are:

Located at the aft of Deck 5, The Colonnade is a casual and inviting elegant setting that is sure to be among the most popular spots for guests to savor the line's highly acclaimed all-inclusive international dining selections. The Colonnade is inspired by the wooden hulls of historic maritime design: The riveted curved wood panels of the ceiling will give guests the feeling of being inside the hull of one of the first expedition ships, a concept that echoes throughout the space with decorative metal plate details, integrated wood flooring, and art displays of intricate nautical knots.

Ribbed wood and etched glass partitions hold plush banquette seating dressed up with leather buckle details and inlayed wood-topped tables, while inviting dining chairs have a more handcrafted, rugged look with a light wood frame, exposed stitching, and natural light green and gray fabrics that are appealing to the eye.

Guests will have the option of enjoying dinner, served tableside at The Colonnade, while breakfast and lunch will be available via table service and buffet-style at stations featuring three-dimensional textured tile and white stone countertops. A sleek copper ceiling above each station will give guests the feeling of walking through a working kitchen. Special theme nights will feature Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller's family-style dinners that pay homage to his American childhood. His interpretations of classic comfort dishes, such as Clam Bake and BBQ Ribs will be served family-style on platters to complement the essence of sharing in a relaxed spirit of fun and togetherness.

The Colonnade will extend to the aft deck into The Patio, with guests welcomed to dine outside amid the fresh sea air, featuring its own menu offering extended hours for lunch serving items such as fresh baked pizza or Chef Keller's Napa Burger and Yountwurst. The same aft deck will also be home to the infinity-inspired pool and two Jacuzzis, as well as two elegant sculptural showers, all with clear views off the back of the ship to the stunning vistas beyond.

"Wherever you go across the Seabourn fleet, you'll find our guests appreciate choice in dining style and the more casual atmosphere of The Colonnade at all times of the day," said Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of Hotel Operations for Seabourn. "Though it's more relaxed in feel, guests who dine there know the quality of the dishes is high, with many culinary options to please every palate, making it a wonderful choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner."

Seabourn Venture will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. Renderings of the new ships, suites and public spaces of the ship can be found in the link here. More details about other dining, social venues and public spaces will continue to be revealed in the coming months.

Carnival Reveals Programming for First Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park At Sea Aboard Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line today announced additional details on the first-ever Sky Zone trampoline park at sea aboard Carnival Panorama, debuting this December in Long Beach.

Located on Decks 6 and 7, the expansive two-deck-high facility encompasses more than 3,000 square feet, providing high-flying fun for guests of all ages across a 12-lane trampoline court.

Sky Zone will be open all day on sea days with late afternoon and evening sessions on port days. One-hour sessions will be held throughout the cruise and available for three different age groups – 6 months to 5 years; 6-14; and 15 and older.

During “toddler time” sessions, younger cruisers can participate in the bouncy fun, accompanied by an adult. The fee is $5 per child and $5 per adult.

Older kids can check out a “challenge zone” equipped with a climbing wall, balance/jousting beam, Sky Ladder climbing apparatus, gravity-defying dodgeball games and above-the-rim basketball experiences. The one-hour sessions are $12. Custom Sky Zone socks are included in the price.

There’s also a nighttime all-ages blacklight glow party for $18 and includes a custom T-shirt. All activities can be conveniently booked once on board at the Sky Zone kiosk located adjacent to the facility.

Sky Zone is the originator in creating innovative ways to play with over 200 trampoline parks across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Colombia.

Sky Zone is one of many family-friendly amenities that will be featured on Carnival Panorama when it debuts in Long Beach Dec. 11 – the first new Carnival ship to be homeported on the West Coast in 20 years. Also featured will be a massive WaterWorks aqua park, extra-roomy Family Harbor staterooms, a suspended ropes course, and the line’s Seuss at Sea program, part of an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Panorama will sail year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises beginning on Dec. 14.

Voyager of the Seas Returns to Service Following $97 million Renovation
Following a US$97 million, 41-day transformation, Royal Caribbean International’s renovated Voyager of the Seas sailed into Singapore to kick off her season across Southeast Asia this week. The first Royal Amplified ship to debut in Asia, Voyager is set to raise the bar on cruise holiday experiences, cruising roundtrip from Singapore on a series of 3- to 5-night adventures to Penang, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia; and Phuket, Thailand.

New additions include first-to-market experiences and amenities, such as The Perfect Storm duo of three-story racer waterslides and glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z. Debuting alongside this lineup is the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and Fitness Center, redesigned kids and teens spaces as well as 72 new inside and balcony staterooms.

Guests can also look forward to the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app, which will deliver a more seamless holiday experience. Through the app, travellers will be able to check in for their cruise, view their onboard expenses as well as make and manage reservations for onboard activities, dining, shows and shore excursions, among other features.

Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said, “Our newly transformed Voyager of the Seas will wow our guests more than ever, with a larger array of unique next-generation experiences and signature Royal Caribbean offerings. This is a tremendous boost for our efforts to grow our presence in Singapore and across the region, as we look forward to welcoming more guests to enjoy our amplified cruise products.”

Voyager set course for Penang on its first Southeast Asia cruise on Oct. 21. Beginning Nov. 30, the renovated ship will set sail for a season Down Under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney and visit exotic destinations, including Brisbane and Airlie Beach, Australia; Noumea and Mare, New Caledonia; and Mystery Island, Vanuatu. In 2020, Voyager will return to Singapore for her summer season from May to June, with a series of 3- to 5-night sailings to popular destinations in Southeast Asia.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2021 Voyages In Tahiti, French Polynesia & The South Pacific
Paul Gauguin Cruises is pleased to officially announce its 2021 voyages, which feature popular favorites along with a new 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary and 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands sailings.

The new 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary features two visits to Paul Gauguin Cruises' renowned private island Motu Mahana, where guests can enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a sumptuous barbecue feast, and cocktails from full and floating bars. Voyages depart Papeete, Tahiti, on January 23, 2021, and December 4, 2021, and sail to Huahine, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands (overnight); At Sea; Rangiroa, Tuamotus; Fakarava, Tuamotus; At Sea; Taha'a (Motu Mahana); Moorea, Society Islands; and Papeete, Tahiti.

In 2021, The Gauguin returns to the tropical wonderland of Fiji on two voyages that also feature Tonga, the Cook Islands, and the Society Islands. The 13-night voyage departs Papeete, Tahiti, on May 22, 2021, and visits: Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; At Sea; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; At Sea (2 days); Vava'u, Tonga; At Sea; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji; and Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji. The 12-night reverse itinerary departs June 5, 2021, and calls at the same ports except Beqa Island, Fiji.

The Gauguin will also be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries: the 7 night Tahiti & the Society Islands; the 7-night Society Islands & Tahiti Iti; the 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; the 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and the 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Government of St. Lucia Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia to form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in Saint Lucia, and to design, construct and operate a new cruise port on the island.

As part of the MOU, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet has called the signing of the MOU "historic" and "a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia's tourism product."

"Saint Lucia has had record breaking cruise arrivals over the past few years and we thank our partners Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean for their continued confidence in our amazing destination," said Prime Minister Chastanet. "It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island's economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism and that Saint Lucians can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers; which means we have to improve our capacity. This signing is historic, as this project will have a major impact on the sustainability of the cruise sector and the reach of cruise tourism to the south of the island. This will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises. We look forward to this partnership as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of Saint Lucia and for our island as a whole."

"This is an exciting day for our guests who already love the beauty and deep culture of Saint Lucia and an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. "We look forward to working closely with our JV partners to give cruise passengers great experiences when visiting the island. With the new development project, Saint Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come."

"The cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40%," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean. "We are excited to partner with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean."

Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia. Under the new agreement, the joint venture would optimize the experience for guests visiting Saint Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure to support the industry's latest ships and promote the growth of cruise tourism on the island.

"Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness" Puppet Show to Debut Onboard New Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
From the brilliant mind of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, and brought to life by The Jim Henson Company and Director John Tartaglia, Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness will entertain audiences of all ages onboard the new Sky Princess in 2019 and Enchanted Princess in 2020.

New and exclusive to Princess Cruises, Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness recreates and reimagines several of Jim Henson's hilarious, innovative and magical works from early in his prolific career in a 30-minute performance. The Princess production show singers and dancers will bring to life the comedy, mind-blowing visuals, memorable music and world-renowned Henson style of puppetry that has redefined the artform. With a colorful cast of new puppets from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, including several newly designed characters, the show captures the spirit and legacy of Jim Henson and includes a lighthearted video introduction by his son Brian Henson.

"Audiences experience something special and mesmerizing while being entertained by puppetry, and Inspired Silliness will give our guests an incredibly unique and new entertainment offering," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "You can't help but smile, laugh out loud and sing along to this original Henson production and feel connected to the performers and the audience during this show."

The Inspired Silliness creative team includes:

Reimagined & Directed by John Tartgalia – Directing: The Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical and Tarzan (Muny), Claudio Quest (New York Musical Theatre Festival, winner Outstanding Direction, Best of the NYMF),Elmo the Musical, Live! (Sesame Place), Avenue Q (off-Broadway, Resident Director (2012-2015). Theatre Performance: Broadway debut in Avenue Q (Tony nominee), creating the roles of Princeton and Rod. Other Broadway: Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio in Shrek The Musical. Television: Best known to parents and kids as "Johnny" from Disney's Johnny and the Sprites (Daytime Emmy award nomination) on Disney Junior Worldwide. "Sesame Street" (13 Seasons), "Bear in the Big Blue House" (Disney Channel), "Ugly Betty" (ABC), "Animal Jam" (Discovery Kids), "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss" (Nickelodeon), "Play with me Sesame" (Sprout/Noggin), "Blue's Room" (Nickelodeon), "JoJo's Circus" (Disney Channel). His acclaimed off-Broadway, national and international touring show ImaginOcean, a new Jim Henson Company series on PBS entitled Splash and Bubbles with John serving as an executive producer and Emmy-nominated performer of "Splash." John is also the host of SiriusXM On Broadway's Sunday Funday.

Puppets by Jim Henson's Creature Shop - Jim Henson's Creature Shop™ provides performed digital visual effects, animatronic creatures, animation and soft puppets to the international film, television, advertising, stage production, and theme park industries. The Shop's most recent work can be seen in the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Based in Los Angeles and New York with satellite shop capabilities internationally, the Shop is known for designing and building some of the world's best-known characters including the Sesame Street puppets, the classic Muppets, the dinosaurs from Dinosaurs, the aliens from Farscape and the fantastical creatures from The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Other feature film credits include Where the Wild Things Are, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The shop is also known for its live performance work with artists like Cee Lo Green, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Deadmau5 and stage productions like The Secret Silk for Princess Cruises and Henson Alternative's Puppet Up! - Uncensored. Themed entertainment clients include World of Coca Cola, Universal Studios Hollywood and Hershey's Chocolate World. A recipient of more than 9 Emmy Awards® for its outstanding work building puppets for Sesame Street, the Shop also received an Academy Award for its visual effects work on the film Babe. Other awards include a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award® for the Henson Performance Control System, and an Emmy Award for the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.

Set Designer Anna Louizos – A three-time Tony Award nominee, has designed sets for such Broadway musicals as School of Rock (sets/costumes –for US, London and National Tour); Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; In the Heights; High Fidelity; Dames at Sea; Honeymoon in Vegas; It ShouldaBeen You; Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella; Avenue Q; The Performers; Irving Berlin's White Christmas; Curtains; Baby It's You; All About Me; To Be Or Not To Be; Steel Magnolias; Golda's Balcony. She has also designed numerous regional and off Broadway shows across the US; some notable world premieres include Disney's Aladdin (5thAvenue Theatre, Seattle), Minsky's, (Ahmanson, LA); Altar Boyz (New World Stages, NYC); Speech and Debate (New York); Jonathan Larson's tick, tick… BOOM! (Jane Street, NYC); Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Goodspeed, CT); Vanities, the Musical (Second Stage, NYC); In Transit(Primary Stages, NYC). USITT 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award; NAACP 2011 Theatre Award For In the Heights. Art Director: "Sex and the City" (HBO). Founder of BROADWAY DESIGN EXCHANGE, an online theatrical marketplace.

What Makes Colombia A Great Destination For Cruise Lines
Colombia is showing significant advances in the cruise industry at a global scale. Over the course of 15 years around 35 of the most prestigious cruise lines have reached Colombian coasts, and the number keeps growing.

The country has competitive advantages for the cruise lines, which include coasts in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, a wide range of exotic beaches, and a strategic location outside of the hurricane area which allows for an uninterrupted operation throughout all the year.

Besides the must-see cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia has other destinations on the Caribbean such as San Andrés island, a sun and beach paradise that has been selected by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards as one of the top 5 islands in the Americas.

On the other hand, The Pacific coast is a great option for nature and adventure tourism offering activities like diving, trekking or whale and bird watching.

"Since 2006 there has been a significant growth in the number of cruise ships coming to Colombia. Dockings increased from 53 in 2006 to 231 in 2018, an increase of 335% in ship arrivals and 646% in passenger arrivals going from 50,946 to 380,000," according to Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of promoting non-mining-energy exports, foreign direct investment and tourism.

The improved interest of cruise lines in Colombia is demonstrated by the wide range of companies that visit the country such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises or TUI Cruises and more recently the arrival of lines specializing in luxury and exploration.

Colombia is also a powerhouse for procurement. The country supplies cruise lines with textiles, agrobusiness products such as coffee, and has the potential to grow sustainably in this business.

According to José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia: "We work to increase the arrival of international cruise passengers to Colombia. The country has opportunities to strengthen this industry in the Caribbean region through the promotion of its touristic offer and the attraction of foreign investment in this sector."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.12 + 2.57%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.07 + 3.81%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.84 - 4.55%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.95 + 1.59%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In 1992 Radisson Cruise Lines introduced the Radisson Diamond, one of the oddest looking cruise ships ever. What was the technical term for her unique hull design and what does it stand for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When the Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia several years ago, it used an innovative technology to help repel the pirates. What was the technology called and how does it work?

Answer - Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) it operates by focusing sound or voice in a specific direction. It can be used to issue a verbal warning that can be followed up by a sound that is meant to deter or prevent persons from approaching the vessal or vehicle. It is manufactured by American Technology Corporation.
courtesy of Kevin Tapee


Cruise News - October 14, 2019

Sky Princess Officially Joins Princess Cruises Fleet
Princess Cruises today took delivery of Sky Princess from shipbuilder Fincantieri at an official handover ceremony at the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The first ship designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship, the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess features an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships.

The milestone handover ceremony was attended by executives from Carnival Corporation & plc including Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Carnival Australia and Carnival UK, and Jan Swartz, Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, Fincantieri was represented by Giuseppe Bono, CEO.

"We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to our long-time shipbuilding partner Fincantieri who delivered Sky Princess to us today," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "As our new flagship in the fleet, Sky Princess represents the absolute best Princess Cruises has to offer our guests by connecting them with what matters most, unique destinations, loved ones, and new friends, while enjoying all the state-of the-art experiences in comfort and style."

With the debut of Sky Princess, Princess Cruises marks the first time a ship has been purpose-built as a Princess MedallionClass™ ship. Featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion™ wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver an entirely new level of service and creates a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the OceanMedallion wearable device is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Princess MedallionClass Vacations are resulting in high guest satisfaction scores, thanks to a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation, including:

• Expedited Arrival - From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Personalization starts pre-cruise as guests become OceanReady™ before arriving at the port. Guests who arrive at the terminal having uploaded their travel documents (i.e. passports) to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their vacation started even sooner.

• On-Demand Services - Food, beverage, retail orders and service delivered to your location: Using smart devices and stateroom TVs, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNowTM and have them delivered directly anywhere on board.

• Family and Friends Locator - Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests' smart devices, OceanCompassTM leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

• Keyless stateroom entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings, including loyalty level recognition and celebrations, welcome the guest on their door portal.

• Interactive voyage timeline: Available on ship portals and via guests' smart devices, JourneyViewTM is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they are interested in to their own personalized itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home.

• Wager-based gaming: On smart devices and on select portals via Ocean Casino™, lets guests wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• Interactive game play: On portals located shipwide and on smart devices PlayOcean™ helps guests enjoy a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.

Sky Princess will start her inaugural season in Europe on a seven-day Mediterranean & Adriatic maiden voyage from Athens to Barcelona on Oct. 20, 2019. The ship will sail a series of Mediterranean voyages before debuting in North America on Dec. 1, 2019, for a season of Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale.

Sky Princess shares all of the spectacular style and elegance of her sister ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess. The ship also debuts the new luxurious Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

The Princess Cruises fleet continues to expand with Enchanted Princess in June 2020, Discovery Princess in November 2021 and two additional ships in 2023 and 2025.

Steel Cutting Ceremony Begins Countdown to New Cunard Ship
Today, Cunard cruise line celebrated the beginning of construction on the line’s 249th ship with a steel cutting ceremony at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard in Italy. The first piece of steel cut will be used as a sculpture displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy and marks a landmark moment in the company’s 179-year history. The yet unnamed ship will be the second largest to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities.

The steel cutting ceremony marks the commencement of the building process for Cunard’s new ship, which is set to join the fleet in 2022. Fincantieri will house and construct the first section of the new ship. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

“After years of planning and design, we are thrilled to see the building process begin for our newest ship,” says Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “The new ship will be the fourth in our fleet, taking inspiration from our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”

Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director for Fincantieri, added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”

Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will craft a unique sculpture from the first piece of metal cut from the new ship. Known for using contemporary industrial metal, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fiberglass to create his work, Shendi will commission the work for guests on board to view and enjoy.

Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”

Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings available next year. With construction underway, Creative Director and globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a new standard of Cunard luxury. The award-winning design team also includes Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio, Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie of Sybille de Margerie Paris.

Andy Stuart Steppng Down At Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced the planned departure of Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”), following the launch of Norwegian Encore and the appointment of Harry Sommer, current President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as Stuart’s successor. Stuart will step down from his role on December 31, 2019 and remain with the Company as Senior Advisor through March 31, 2020 to ensure a smooth transition.

Stuart joined Norwegian in 1988 and held several key executive positions during his tenure of more than three decades, including: President and Chief Operating Officer; Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Passenger Services; Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Passenger Services. Stuart was instrumental in many of the line’s key achievements including the introduction of its revolutionary Freestyle Cruising offering where, in an industry first, guests were freed from traditional set dining times in a single venue and given the freedom and flexibility to dine at whatever time they chose in a variety of dining venues.

“I could only have dreamed about my journey at Norwegian when I joined the company in 1988 and am extremely fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the incredible evolution of this pioneering brand,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “I am honored to have played a role in the leadership position Norwegian now holds in this incredible industry and continue to be proud of the commitment, dedication and passion of our team for delivering a best-in-class vacation experience. I have worked closely with Harry and am confident he is the right person to take the helm and continue the journey for Norwegian Cruise Line.”

“Andy has accomplished everything possible in the cruise industry, including leading its most storied and innovative brand. He will leave on a high note after delivering the brand’s latest ship, Norwegian Encore, the last ship in the most successful ship class in the Company’s history,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We are extremely grateful for his leadership and contributions to Norwegian Cruise Line, our company and the cruise industry.”

Del Rio continued, “Over the last several years, Norwegian’s management and Board of Directors have worked closely on a comprehensive succession plan that leveraged the considerable bench strength across the organization. The Board and I are confident that Harry is the right person to succeed Andy as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Norwegian Cruise Line brand and look forward to him leveraging his breadth of knowledge and extensive experience in the industry and our Company to take the brand to new heights.”

“Andy and I have worked closely together over the last several years and I am humbled and honored to follow in his footsteps and lead this renowned brand,” said Harry Sommer, President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “I look forward to working with all of our incredible partners worldwide, building off the strong position the brand holds today and charting the strategy for the next phase of Norwegian’s journey.”

Sommer currently serves as President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. where he is responsible for all sales, marketing, public relations and office operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in all markets outside of the United States and Canada. He previously served as Executive Vice President, International Business Development and Executive Vice President and Chief Integration Officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and held various executive positions for Prestige Cruise Holdings including Chief Marketing Officer; Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Information Officer and Chief Accounting Officer. Sommer holds a MBA from Pace University and a BBA from Baruch College.

Carnival Cruise Line To Add Fourth Ship In Galveston
Everything is bigger in Texas – including Carnival Cruise Line – which announced today that it will have four ships homeported in Galveston, year-round, beginning in 2021.

Building on its position as the World's Most Popular Cruise Line and the number one cruise line from Texas, Carnival Cruise Line said that Carnival Radiance will join the Galveston-based fleet in May 2021. In addition, Carnival Breeze will return to Galveston from Port Canaveral, becoming the newest and largest ship to operate a short cruise program from Galveston. Carnival Dream will shift to six- and eight-day Caribbean voyages while Carnival Vista will continue its popular week-long Caribbean cruises.

All Galveston-based ships and itineraries opened for sale today. With these four ships, Carnival Cruise Line will carry an estimated 900,000 guests annually from Galveston – more than any other cruise operator – on 235 five- to 14-day sailings a year, providing an unprecedented variety of cruise durations, destinations and amenities from Texas.

"Carnival is already the most popular cruise line from Galveston attracting vacationers from all across the Southwest and beyond. With these enhancements, we're providing our guests with more voyages, more destinations and more choices from Texas than ever before," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"As North America's fourth busiest cruise port, the Port of Galveston is pleased to welcome the Carnival Radiance. Since Carnival made Galveston its homeport almost 20 years ago, more than 7.5 million Carnival Cruise Line passengers have embarked from our wharves," said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves CEO and Port Director. "As we grow, we'll continue to focus on delivering great service to Carnival and its passengers."

Carnival Radiance will launch a new schedule of five- to 14-day voyages from the Port of Galveston beginning on May 14, 2021. On this route:

• Five-day cruises depart Sundays and feature the seaside Mexican ports of Cozumel and Progreso or Costa Maya.

• Three different nine-day options departing Fridays will be offered – one calling at Cozumel, Limon (Costa Rica), and a partial Panama Canal transit or a visit to Colon (Panama), another featuring Key West, Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau, and a third stopping at Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

• Two eight-port, 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises visiting top destinations throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America and the Panama Canal will also be offered departing Oct. 24, 2021 and Jan. 16, 2022.

Carnival Radiance will undergo an extensive bow-to-stern $200 million renovation next year that will add all of the line's food, beverage and entertainment innovations, bringing an exciting new option to the Galveston market. Its sister ship, the transformed Carnival Sunrise, debuted earlier this year and has quickly become a very popular addition to the Carnival fleet, which Carnival Radiance is sure to match. The extensive 38-day renovation of the ship will add a host of new food and beverage outlets including Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, and Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, and the first Big Chicken restaurant created by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O'Neal. All of the ship's spaces will be transformed including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival's dazzling, high-tech Playlist Productions shows.

Carnival Radiance will reposition to the Port of Galveston with a 12-day Carnival Journeys Panama Cruise departing Port Canaveral May 2 and arriving in Galveston May 14, 2021.

Royal Caribbean Announces Lelepa
Vanuatu, one of the natural gems of the South Pacific, will be the new home of Royal Caribbean's newest private island destination – Perfect Day at Lelepa, Vanuatu.

The announcement of the new project was made by Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.

Salwai and Bayley said the destination will be created in partnership with the community of Vanuatu to showcase the distinct natural ecological beauty and diverse local culture of the island nation as well as provide employment and education opportunities.

Perfect Day at Lelepa will also be built with sustainability features designed to safeguard the island's ecosystems and will be the first carbon neutral* private cruise destination in the world. Cox Architecture, a sustainable, design-focused contemporary architectural firm based in Australia, will serve as the lead architect on the project.

"We believe our destinations should be sustainably designed," Bayley said. "That idea goes beyond simply protecting the ecological features of Lelepa and includes showing respect for the people and traditions that make this a special place."

Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai said, "Vanuatu is a true paradise for both our people and the visitors we welcome to our shores each year. Today marks a major step forward in our island nation's close relationship with Royal Caribbean and one that will support sustainable growth for future generations. The Ni-Vanuatu people look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean guests from around the world to enjoy extraordinary adventures and relaxation during their Perfect Day at Lelepa."

Bayley said, "Anyone who has encountered the tremendous natural beauty of Lelepa can understand why it is the perfect setting for 'Perfect Day.' Our guests who travel to the South Pacific are seeking authentic adventures and genuine relaxation, and they will find both here."

Perfect Day at Lelepa will have a different look and feel from Royal Caribbean's wildly popular Perfect Day at CocoCay "because our guests around the world all have different definitions for their perfect day — and all of them are right. Our designers and nature have created the ideal South Pacific experience and we expect the results will be stunning."

MSC Cruises Reveals New Island Experiences Awaiting Guests At Ocean Cay
This November MSC Cruises will welcome its first guests onto its breath-taking new private island destination in The Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Today the leading cruise line reveals even more island experiences awaiting MSC Cruises' guests, in addition to photos of the island.

With endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and two miles of white sandy beaches, Ocean Cay is the ideal getaway for guests to discover nature's pure, untouched beauty through a variety of activities designed for all ages. From ocean discovery activities like snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking to relaxing in a cabana on the beach or during a luxurious spa treatment, there is something for everyone. Guests can also enjoy breath-taking sunsets followed by a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo parade, a spectacular lighthouse light show, or beachside stargazing. For those just wishing to unwind and take in the beautiful surroundings, there are eight beaches to choose from, offering different activities and services. The island is easy to get around and easily accessible from the ship by foot, or guests can simply hop on the electric tram that will transport guests around the island.

A few of the newest island experiences awaiting visitors include:

Feel a New Thrill:

• Deep Sea Fishing: Catch, Tag and Release – After a short boat ride, guests can reel in an adventure-filled day as they Catch, Tag and Release to learn about the different species of regional fish and how they migrate in one of the most famous fishing areas of the world. Gray Fish, the only tagging research center in The Bahamas, will help guests as they catch and tag their fish to report information on the specific catch. Once the fish caught and tagged, it is then released.

• Rum Rendezvous (Adults Only) – Enjoy a scenic boat ride to a stunning Bahama bank where guests can enjoy a lively, adults-only atmosphere and pristine shallow waters while sipping on complimentary rum punch, surrounded by live music and dancing.

• Ceclo Luxury Electric Pedalo Rentals – Explore or simply slowly drift for hours in the tranquility of the beautiful Bahamian waters on the newest invention on the market, the Ceclo – the luxury yacht of pedal boats, with electric assistance ready for all your adventures and made of recycled champagne cork, wood, and aluminum.

• Glow Night-time Stand-Up Paddle Boarding – Discover the marine life after dark and enjoy a calm evening paddle under a starry sky with a specially equipped stand-up paddle board, fitted with LED illumination that allows guests to glide on a beam of light across the calm waters of The Bahamas.

Fun for the Whole Family:

• Ocean Cay Family Club – The whole family sets out on a great adventure across the island to help Captain Doremi save the island while learning about the environment and animal species living on the land, and how to preserve the island and oceans around them.

• The Bahama Bank Escape (Family Tour) – This tour is fun for the whole family aboard a spacious double decker power catamaran. The captain and crew take families on a charming boat ride to Bahama Banks where visitors can splash around in the shallow tropical waters, enjoy sport activities and relax on the beach with complimentary local rum punch for adults.

• Kids Beachside Stargazing Adventure – This fun learning activity for kids allows them to discover everything about the universe, planets, stars, time and space. Led by Captain Doremi, children will help a little star find her way back home to the skies through stories, games and riddles.

The Perfect Setting for a Touch of Romance:

• Honeymoon Harbour Stingray Adventure – Interact with a variety of different ray species including the local friendly stingrays on an adventurous boat ride to Honeymoon Harbour where guests can also enjoy the gorgeous beaches and lighthouse on Gun Cay.

• Sunset Beach Picnic – A romantic picnic on the beach awaits couples looking for a secluded experience while enjoying the sunset and blue Bahamian sea over a bottle of wine and picnic basket of snacks.

Starting November 2019, four MSC Cruises ships will call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on different days - MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.

AIDA Cruises Pioneering Cruise Industry's First-Ever Trial of Fuel Cell Technology
Germany-based brand, AIDA Cruises, has partnered with leaders from the maritime and engineering sectors to pilot the world's first fuel cell system designed to power large passenger vessels. As early as 2021, AIDA Cruises will trial this innovative fuel technology on AIDAnova, becoming the cruise industry's first brand to trial fuel cells on a large cruise ship.

The research project, named "Pa-X-ell2," is designed to develop fuel cells that are powered by hydrogen derived from methanol, with the potential to supply power to cruise ships at even lower emissions levels than liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Designed by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, the fuel cells are expected to have a longer lifecycle than those currently being developed for automobiles, with early trials on land showing a lifespan of over 35,000 operating hours.

Developed as a hybrid energy system for use in cruise ships, the fuel cells will be designed to enable benefits beyond significantly lower emissions, including operating with lower noise and vibration. In the future there is the potential for the required methanol to be produced from renewable energy sources.

Funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Pa-X-ell2 research project will include AIDA Cruises, represented by Carnival Corporation's Hamburg-based Carnival Maritime GmbH, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, the Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners.

"With the first-time use of fuel cells onboard an oceangoing cruise ship, we will reach another important milestone on our journey to emission-neutral cruising," said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises. "Our goal is continue to show concrete solutions for achieving our climate targets."

As part of Carnival Corporation's innovative "green cruising" strategy, the fuel cell pilot is the most recent in an ongoing series of environmental initiatives and major technological advances for the company's AIDA Cruises brand. Last month, the brand signed an agreement to install a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery power system on its AIDAperla ship in 2020, which will be the world's largest battery storage system ever on a passenger ship, capable of generating a total output of 10-megawatt hours to help electrify the ship's propulsion and operation for periods of time.

In December 2018, AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world's first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major achievement in green cruising that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

In total, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation LNG cruise ships on order, including Costa Smeralda, which will be the second of the corporation's ships to be powered by LNG when it joins the Costa Cruises fleet this fall.

The company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

AIDA Cruises' newest ship, AIDAnova, was recently named the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the Blue Angel certification by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment for its environmentally friendly ship design. Since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises has "cold ironing" or shore power capabilities, which allow for connecting directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available. With "cold ironing," the air emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port. By the end of 2020, at least 12 of AIDA's 14 ships will be able to use shore power wherever it is available. Since 2017, AIDAsol has been using the shore power plant in Hamburg-Altona, Germany, for its regular operations.

In addition, AIDA is also exploring the use of CO2-free production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from renewable sources through its "Power to Gas" project or the use of fuel cells in cruise shipping. By the end of 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will travel on ships that can be fully powered by low-emission LNG or shore power where possible.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 42.04 + 2.76%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.96 + 5.22%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 - 1.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.33 + 1.59%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia several years ago, it used an innovative technology to help repel the pirates. What was the technology called and how does it work?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two converted liners that engaged in the first, and last, wartime confrontation between ocean liners.

Answer - Cunard's Carmania and Hamburg-South America's Cap Trafalgar exchanged nerly 1,000 rounds before the Cap Trafalgar eventually sank on September 13, 1914.
courtesy of Tim Flanagan, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - October 7, 2019

Princess Cruises Reveals Name of Sixth Royal-Class Ship
The name of the sixth Royal-Class cruise ship for Princess Cruises was revealed today – Discovery Princess. The fastest growing international premium cruise line also announced the largest inaugural launch program ever with worldwide itineraries offered onboard Discovery Princess to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico and the California Coast for the 2021/2022 cruise season. Discovery Princess will be the first-ever new cruise ship for Princess Cruises to be based on the West Coast, sailing out of Los Angeles.

Designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship, the 143,700-ton, 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess is currently under construction at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The ship will feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships. Discovery Princess is scheduled to debut on Nov. 3, 2021, on a seven-day Mediterranean & Aegean inaugural cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens.

With cruise vacations open for sale Oct. 8, 2019, Discovery Princess will sail on destination-rich itineraries to the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America before arriving in Los Angeles for her West Coast debut, sailing to Mexico and the California Coast.

"Discovery Princess will take our guests on the most memorable vacations of their lifetime introducing them to new sights, new cultures, and new experiences onboard every voyage," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Discovery is both an expression of our brand as well as an important aspect of our guest experience. We know Discovery Princess will offer our guests cruise vacations that create memories they will cherish for a lifetime and we're proud to mark a major milestone basing our newest ship on the West Coast."

The inaugural season of Discovery Princess includes 30 departures on 21 unique itineraries to more than 50 destinations in 23 countries, including several holiday sailings offering the perfect celebration vacation. Highlights include:

Mediterranean: Eight itinerary options in the Mediterranean, sailing to 19 destinations in eight countries, and ranging in length from seven to 21 days. Guests can choose to sail from Rome, Athens or Barcelona. More Ashore late-night calls are offered in Barcelona, Genoa (Milan), and Mykonos on select itineraries. Cruise departure dates: Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2021.

Caribbean: Six holiday voyages, ranging from four, eight or 16 days, cruising to eight destinations in seven countries visiting the Eastern Caribbean with a new port of call in Tortula and Southern Caribbean sailing to all three ABC islands. Cruise departure dates: Dec. 9, 13, 21, 29, 2021.

South America: Sailing to 22 destinations in 11 countries on six departures, including a 50-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. More Ashore late night calls include Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Buenos Aires and Lima (overnight). Departure dates: Jan. 6, 24, Feb. 7, 2022.

Mexico and the California Coast: Discovery Princess makes her West Coast debut in Los Angeles on March 1, 2022. Guests can set sail to the sunny beaches of Mexico on a 5-day cruise with an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas or on a 7-day Mexican Riveria cruise. Guest can then enjoy the beauty of the scenic California coastline on a 7-day Classic California Coast with More Ashore in San Francisco and San Diego including the unique experiences of sailing under the famed Golden Gate Bridge. Departure dates: March 1, 6, 13, April 3, 10, and May 1, 2022.

Princess past guests are eligible for a special promotion when booking early. A reduced deposit of 10% is available through February 29, 2020. In addition, those guests booking the 50-day South America Connoisseur voyage will receive onboard credit, complimentary gratuities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

MSC Meraviglia Makes Her North American Debut
MSC Meraviglia — MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class smart ship — made her inaugural visit to North American shores today, arriving at Manhattan Pier in New York City. With a double occupancy capacity of 4,488 and gross tonnage of 171,598 GRT, MSC Meraviglia is MSC Cruises' largest ship sailing from the U.S and sets the record for the largest ship to ever port in Manhattan. As she continues sailings along the east coast, MSC Meraviglia will also be the largest ship ever to call Boston, Mass., as well as Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine.

"We are so thrilled to welcome MSC Meraviglia, a truly beautiful ship, to the U.S. as she marks another major milestone for MSC Cruises in the North American market," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises (USA). "Due to significant demand, for the first time in MSC Cruises history we now have four distinct ships sailing in the region as MSC Meraviglia joins MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia and MSC Divina. With each ship offering its own unique design and guest experience inspired by our European heritage, we look forward to providing travelers with even more choice and variety to best fit their vacation needs."

MSC Meraviglia's On Board Features

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia boasts an innovative and glamorous design that showcases MSC Cruises' signature European style. The ship's two-story Mediterranean-style promenade is lined with a variety of shops and specialty restaurants — including HOLA! Tapas Bar and Ocean Cay, restaurants by two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, and Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, an open fronted chocolate atelier by world-renowned pastry chef, Jean Philippe Maury.

Entertainment is available around-the-clock with enriching activities for all ages. In addition to six different full-scale theatrical productions every night in the main theater, guests are also able to enjoy two distinct Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, VIAGGIO and SONOR — created exclusively for MSC Meraviglia in a purpose-built entertainment and dining venue, the Carousel Lounge. Immersive kids and family programs include a winter-themed aqua park with four water slides, a Himalayan bridge suspending cruisers high up above the ship, an interactive XD cinema, two full size bowling lanes and multiple LEGO-designed kids clubs.

Those looking for exclusivity and privacy – while still enjoying all the amenities and choice offered on a larger ship – can book their stay within the MSC Yacht Club, MSC Cruises' all-inclusive 'ship-within-a-ship' concept, featuring private amenities and 24-hour butler service.

Launched in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first next-generation innovative ship to feature MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital program designed to help guests get the most out of their vacation. By simply using an app, interactive displays and in-stateroom TV, guests are able to effortlessly book services, find information, plan activities, stay connected with friends and family and easily navigate around the ship.

MSC Meraviglia North American Itineraries and Experiences Ashore

Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia will begin her North American journey with three sailing from NYC, including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami. On her first Caribbean sailing, departing from NYC on October 28, MSC Meraviglia will be the first ship to call on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises' new breathtaking private island destination in the Bahamas opening November 9, 2019.

With endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and over two miles of pristine beachfront across eight white sandy beaches, Ocean Cay is the ideal getaway for guests to escape their busy daily lives and discover nature's pure, untouched beauty. Exclusively for MSC Cruises' guests, MSC Meraviglia will dock at Ocean Cay from early morning until late evening, giving guests plenty of time to soak up the spirit of The Bahamas and enjoy the day as they wish. Island experiences span a range of activities including shore excursions designed to discover the marine life close up, such as snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking; luxurious spa treatments; shopping areas with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts by local artisans; and one of a kind night events such as traditional Junkanoo parades, lighthouse light shows, and beachside stargazing.

With MSC Meraviglia's arrival in North America, she will also now feature MSC Cruises' partnership with home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, which launched earlier in 2019 on all Caribbean sailings. The exclusive Martha Stewart and MSC Cruises partnership includes celebration surprise gift packages, onboard special holiday dinner menus and recipes, and specially curated shore excursions featuring some of Martha's favorite activities and allowing guests to learn the local culture of the destination they are visiting.

From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020, MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries visiting ports in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and The Bahamas. Sample itineraries include:

• January 12, 2019: 7-night sailing visiting Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Bahamas. Prices start at $629 per person for a balcony stateroom.

• February 16, 2019: 7-night sailing visiting Miami, Florida; Isla de Rotan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Bahamas; Miami,

Following her inaugural season in Miami, MSC Meraviglia will then return to Northern Europe for summer 2020 (April – October). Upon returning to the U.S. in October 2020, MSC Meraviglia will once again do three 10-night sailings from New York to Canada & New England before then homeporting back in Miami for 7-night Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Cruise Line To Resume Calls To Grand Bahama On Friday
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it will resume regular calls to Grand Bahama beginning this Friday, Oct. 11, when Carnival Pride will dock in Freeport. Carnival Elation will follow on Sunday, Oct. 13 and Carnival Freedom on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Carnival Pride departed Baltimore on Sunday, Oct. 6 on a week-long cruise with nearly 2,400 guests. All told between now and the end of the year, Carnival Cruise Line expects to host 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the destination and providing a significant impact to the local economy. For the full year, over 400,000 guests will visit Grand Bahama on a Carnival cruise vacation aboard 10 different ships sailing from nine different U.S. homeports.

"Carnival Cruise Line is proud to be such a big year-round supporter for cruise tourism to Freeport so we are very excited to provide our guests the opportunity to again visit this popular destination," said Terry Thornton, Carnival's senior vice president of nautical and port operations. "Cruise ship visits are important to the local economy and our shore excursion team has been working closely with local tour operators and has confirmed a variety of attractive onshore excursions for our guests."

More than 15 shore excursions will be offered, including The All Inclusive Beach Club; A Select Retreat with Beach and Water Toys; and the VIP Luxury Sail, to name just a few.

Added Senator James Kwasi Malik Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, "The rebuilding of Grand Bahama has begun. We welcome the return of Carnival Cruise Line back to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. Carnival is an incredible partner for the Bahamas and Grand Bahama."

On Monday, Carnival Ecstasy arrived in Freeport to undergo an extensive 12-day dry dock at the Grand Bahama shipyard, becoming the first cruise ship to utilize the facility since Hurricane Dorian.

The company's relief efforts include a $2 million pledge from Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, as well as relief shipments delivered by Carnival Cruise Line ships and via a partnership with Tropical Shipping. Carnival employees and guests have also donated well over $500,000 through online giving tools and collections on embarkation day and onboard.

Oceania Cruises Debuts New Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center
Oceania Cruises debuted the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center today, the most unique and comprehensive spa and wellness center at sea, which will be introduced across all of its six ships this winter. As part of the brand's continued OceaniaNEXT enhancements, the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center extends well beyond a traditional spa, offering a complete and original collection of holistic wellness encounters both on board and ashore that supports all dimensions of wellness while encouraging a lifestyle of health and longevity.

"Our guests love balance – they're active, they're leading rich and fulfilled lives. For them, wellness is not a pursuit, it's a lifestyle," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer for Oceania Cruises. "People are not just living longer, they are living healthier and better and that's why Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center is the perfect fit for the Oceania Cruises guest."

Drawing on inspiration from the fundamental benefits of travel and discovery as well as guest input, Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center was created from top to bottom by Oceania Cruises and offers an array of wellness encounters designed to enhance the guest experience and encourage personal renewal. From rejuvenating treatments and Aquamar Vitality Cuisine to Wellness Discovery Tours by Aquamar, all have been uniquely curated to encompass the brand's core pillars: the finest cuisine at sea, alluring destinations and intimate and luxurious ships.

Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center helps guests attain an enriching balance and live life to the fullest through a range of programs and services that support all dimensions of wellness – from restorative body treatments to nourishing menu choices and enlightening adventures ashore.

RESTORE & RENEW | Rejuvenating Treatments & Medi-Spa Services

Restorative Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
This deeply restorative massage calls on Himalayan salt stones, which improve mental alertness and overall well-being. Warm salt stones are bathed in personally selected aromatics and diffuse negative energy, reduce stress and alleviate muscle tension.

Acupuncture
One of the fastest growing alternative therapies, acupuncture can complement and enhance the benefits of traditional medicine. An onboard acupuncturist is certified to effectively treat an array of symptoms and conditions such as insomnia, weight gain, anxiety and pain management.

Dysport Wrinkle Treatments
Soften fine lines and wrinkles on the upper face for a refreshed, youthful appearance. Smoother-looking skin is visible within days and lasts up to four months.

ENRICH | Lifestyle Seminars & Wellness Discovery Tours by Aquamar

Reflexologist on Rice Barge | Bangkok Thailand
While cruising the calm waters of Bangkok's Chao Phraya River on a historical, wooden rice barge, guests will benefit from reflexology, a foot therapy thought to enhance relaxation and reduce pain. A traditional reflexologist will gently apply pressure to the feet, following a foot chart that details the corresponding organs and body systems.

Wellness & Mindfulness at Viña Casa Marin | Santiago de Chile (San Antonio), Chile

This unique experience pairs yoga, pranayama breathing and mindful meditation with a gourmet luncheon at a picturesque boutique winery, Viña Casa Marin, where guests will also learn about its history and micro-terroirs.

The Wonders of Apitherapy | Seville (Cádiz), Spain

At a beekeeping farm in the picturesque Andalusian countryside, guests will discover the myriad advantages of apitherapy, which focuses on the many benefits of honeybee products, such as raw honey, pollen, royal jelly and even bee venom. The resident apitherapy specialist will illustrate the benefits of each product, from boosting the immune system to alleviating pain.

NOURISH | Aquamar Vitality Cuisine

Guests can enjoy healthy and flavorful Aquamar Vitality Cuisine in The Grand Dining Room in addition to extensive plant-based and vegetarian dishes. Freshly pressed juices, smoothies and energy bowls are also served at the only cold-pressed Raw Juice & Smoothie Bars at sea. Sample dishes include:

Breakfast
Green apple müesli with pistachios, pecans and yellow raisins
Avocado toast on rustic farmer's bread

Lunch
Wakame sesame salad
Hawaiian poke bowl

Dinner
Som tam green papaya kelp noodle salad
Roasted butternut squash with arugula, mango, black radish and hearts of palm

ENERGIZE | Fitness Classes & Personal Training
Complimentary fitness classes, access to the state-of-the-art fitness center and the option of customized personal training sessions make it easy to feel fit and fulfilled at sea. Sample complimentary fitness classes include yoga, Pilates, cycling and circuit-based training.

Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center will be implemented on each of Oceania Cruises' ships on the following cruises:

Riviera | December 5, 2019
Sirena | December 7, 2019
Nautica | December 7, 2019
Regatta | January 6, 2020
Insignia | January 8, 2020 Marina | January 22, 2020

Cunard Announces Alaska Itineraries Roundtrip from Victoria, BC
Cunard has announced three additional opportunities for guests to sail roundtrip from Victoria, BC, Canada on some of the company's 2020 Alaska itineraries.

As the capital of British Columbia, Victoria sits on the southern end of Vancouver Island and is known for Butchart Gardens, Hatley Castle, and a picturesque downtown with colorful Victorian architecture and charming pubs. The city has a lot to offer passengers who want to spend time there either before or after their voyage.

New roundtrip 2020 voyages out of Victoria on Queen Elizabeth include (fares are per person, based on double occupancy):

• A 12-night Alaska voyage (Q020F), July 8-20, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Anchorage, Kodiak, Seward and College Fjord.

• A 10-night Alaska voyage (Q021A), July 20-30, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka and Ketchikan.

• A three-night getaway cruise (Q020E) from San Francisco to Victoria, July 5-8, 2020, with a call in Astoria, Oregon.

The above voyages are in addition to the Alaska itineraries, roundtrip out of Victoria, which Cunard launched earlier this year:

• An 11-night voyage (Q022B), July 30-August 10, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan. Fares start at $1,499.

• A 9-night voyage, August 10-19, 2020 (Q023A), calling at Vancouver, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, and Sitka.

• A 9-night voyage (Q024A), August 19-28, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka and Ketchikan.

• A 10-night voyage (Q025A), August 28-Sept 7, 2020, calling at Juneau, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Glacier Bay National Park, and Ketchikan.

"We are excited to offer our guests this new option of sailing roundtrip into Alaska from Victoria," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "After a successful launch of four roundtrip Victoria voyages in July, we have decided to add three additional voyages to meet our guests' demand. Victoria is one of Canada's top-rated destinations and this will give passengers extra time in port to explore the city pre- and post-cruise."

Cunard is doubling its Alaska program in 2020, spending a full season in the region from June through September with ten voyages ranging from nine to twelve nights. In addition to scenic cruising through the Inside Passage, Queen Elizabeth will visit the stunning Glacier Bay National Park, as well as spend full days in several ports to discover the history and culture of the area.

Carnival Corporation Breaks Ground on New Cruise Terminal in Sasebo, Japan
Carnival Corporation, today officially began construction of the cruise industry's first cruise terminal in Japan, located at the port of Sasebo, with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by government, business and community representatives. In attendance for Carnival Corporation were Remco Buis, senior vice president port operations and development, and Paul Chong, vice president of business development for Carnival Asia, as well as representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and the city of Sasebo.

As part of a strategic partnership agreement signed in March 2018 with the city of Sasebo and MLIT Japan, Carnival Corporation will construct and operate the new terminal, expected to open in summer 2020. The partners in the Sasebo development project are working together on an efficient, contemporary design for the terminal to accommodate the corporation's existing and newest ships. Under the 20-year agreement, Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands will be granted berthing preference, enabling them to provide guests with optimized cruise itineraries when visiting the port.

"As the cruise industry's first terminal in Japan, this groundbreaking is a historic day for all of us at Carnival Corporation and for our partners in this exciting project," said Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. "This new terminal will complement our strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and furthers our commitment to help facilitate the rising demand for cruise vacations in the region, enabling even more people from around the world to discover why Japan is such an extraordinary destination, one that many of our guests have long enjoyed. And as our company's first cruise terminal investment in Japan, we are excited to mark the start of our long-term relationship. We are actively working on future investment opportunities to help further support growth and expand the Japanese cruise industry for years to come."

Japan's ports have witnessed exceptional growth over the past few years, and cruising continues to increase in popularity in Asia. The company will continue to work with Japan's government and MLIT to identify potential additional port development opportunities and future investments in the country.

Japan is a popular destination for seven of Carnival Corporation's cruise line brands, including AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Overall, Carnival Corporation is expecting to accommodate an estimated 2 million passenger movements in the market in 2019, with nearly 800 calls from 15 ships from the company's cruise line brands to over 50 ports in Japan.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 40.91 - 6.41%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 102.60 - 5.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.89 - 2.20%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 48.56+ - 6.20%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two converted liners that engaged in the first, and last, wartime confrontation between ocean liners.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - The ship was the Ile de France from 1927. The only good thing about this picture was that people who did not sail her could see her beautiful interiors. The French were very upset and I guess I would have been as well.
courtesy of Bill Forsstrom in Cincinnati


Cruise News - September 30, 2019

Norwegian Encore Sails in Open Water for the First Time
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, successfully completed another major construction milestone, when she departed the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and sailed down the Ems River towards the North Sea.

On Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, Norwegian Encore began her conveyance to Eemshaven, Netherlands, with initial crew members on board already preparing to welcome her first guests this November. At nearly 1,100 feet long, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of 3,998, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019. She will be christened by Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019 and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“Today we celebrate a huge milestone for our history-making ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Now is when the anticipation truly begins to build. Our partners at Meyer Werft have collaborated with us to bring the industry-leading experiences from the successful Breakaway Plus class ships to Norwegian Encore, making her truly the best in class.”

Taking the brand’s exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world’s longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company’s history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award®-winning musical, “Kinky Boots” will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites “The Choir of Man,” “Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical” and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

As part of a recent partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., Norwegian Encore will be the first ship in the Company to be plastic bottle free when she debuts. By Jan. 1, 2020 Norwegian Cruise Line will be the first major cruise line to eliminate plastic bottles across its entire fleet, a significant effort towards providing guests with more sustainable options at sea.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises To Debut New Serene Spa & Wellness Fleetwide
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today introduced a new globally inspired spa brand that will debut across its five-ship fleet this winter. Serene Spa & Wellness will offer exclusive treatments integrating techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world, creating a tranquil haven of health, beauty and wellness that offers restorative treatments and services to soothe both the body and mind.

The groundbreaking menu of services reflects treatments originating from many of the 450 destinations to which the cruise line sails, and includes globally renowned ELEMIS facial therapies, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, luxury Kérastase salon services, fitness classes, and personal training, plus a series of wellness tours and nutritionally mindful cuisine selections served in restaurants on board.

"Regent is deeply inspired by the peace and serenity that can be found in every region of our globe, and we are bringing the beautiful traditions and tried-and-true techniques of the world's cultures into the exclusive experiences of Serene Spa & Wellness through spa treatments, cuisine and captivating shore excursions," said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "We originally developed this innovative experience for Seven Seas Splendor in our pursuit to perfect luxury for our newest ship, and then decided to expand Serene Spa & Wellness for guests to embark on a global journey of relaxation on all Regent ships. Serene Spa & Wellness will set a new benchmark in luxury spas at sea."

Experience the best of destination-inspired body and beauty treatments Serene Spa & Wellness integrates globally sourced, natural ingredients that promote health and balance for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to traditional spa services, examples of globally inspired techniques and treatments offered exclusively at Serene Spa & Wellness on Regent Seven Seas Cruises include:

• The Regent Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Sea Buckthorn from the Mediterranean coast) This bespoke full-body therapy features a synergy of rosemary, sea fennel and sea buckthorn from the Mediterranean coastlines worked into areas of tension to ease and soothe muscles while helping to detoxify. Warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts and boots enhance this signature experience, deeply nourishing and hydrating hands and feet.

• Around The World Massage. (Destination Inspirations: Basalt from China, Coconut Poultice from Caribbean, Bamboo from Asia) Fusing techniques from the corners of the world, this choreographed therapy is one of optimal wellness: the earthly scents of Indian cardamom, Egyptian coriander and eucalyptus soothe the mind; Swedish massage movements work freely throughout the body to relax; volcanic rocks release muscle tension and stagnant energy in the legs; bamboo stalks glide over muscles to deeply alleviate discomfort; warmed coconut poultices are delicately worked over the face, neck and shoulders; and argan oil from Morocco conditions the scalp.

• Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Polish. (Destination Inspiration: Samphire from Northern Europe) Hydrate skin with a nourishing, exfoliation duo. Nutrient-rich extracts from sea lavender and samphire smooth parched, dry skin cells while a moisturizing milk of macadamia nut and sea salt moisturize to allow a thirsty skin to replenish. This lavish body experience includes half or full-body massage.

• Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Bladderwrack Seaweed from Baltic Coast) Recharge your body with a detoxifying treatment designed to alleviate deep-seated tension and muscular distress. Rich in minerals and trace elements, an aromatic, warm mask with potent algae from the Baltic Sea is applied on to the back to release tension and ease aches and pains while a back or full-body massage relaxes the body.

• Calming Rose Facial. (Destination Inspiration: Hand-picked Organic English Roses from the United Kingdom) Comfort sensitive skin with a natural blend of delicate rose absolute to intensely hydrate the dermis. Luxuriously indulgent, precious rose extracts smooth fine lines, strengthening and protecting the skin's barrier. A warm rose balm is massaged onto the hands and arms to induce relaxation. Skin is left feeling soothed and replenished with a petal softness.

• Kérastase Elixir Ultime 24-Carat Indulgent Ritual. (Destination Inspiration: Rose from Morocco) This indulgent hair ritual nourishes, protects and instantly restores hair. Relax with the aromatic scent of rose during a luxurious treatment in which camellia and marula oils and white tea extracts are massaged deep into the scalp. This highly concentrated experience provides a sublime transformation, leaving hair silky, weightless and beautiful.

• Regent Manicure and Pedicure. (Destination Inspiration: Frangipani from the South Pacific) Hands and feet are soaked in a hydrating milk protein while a vitamin-rich oil strengthens nails and cuticles. Warmed frangipani oil is massaged to further replenish moisture. Includes filing, cuticles and polish.

Serene Spa & Wellness services extend beyond the physical spa venue:

• Fitness experts at Fitness by Serene Spa & Wellness lead popular exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga and meditation and are available to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment. Equipment includes spinning bikes, dumbbells, treadmills, Technogym strength machines, workout mats and step benches. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor.

• Savor the best of world cuisine with Serene Spa & Wellness Selections in many restaurants on board. Drawn from a globally inspired approach to healthy living, these culinary dishes are as flavorful as they are nutritious. An extensive array of innovative options is available in restaurants across Regent's fleet, featuring exquisite dishes influenced by a myriad of global fares including delectable plant-based cuisine.

• Serene Spa & Wellness Tours offer curated shore excursions designed to enhance wellness through immersive experiences. Soak in a restorative, mineral-rich thermal spring in Rome or experience a taiji (tai chi) class on a beautiful and serene beach on Palma de Mallorca. Guests can refresh with a Mediterranean breeze as they calm their mind and strengthen their focus through a yoga class overlooking the seaside town of Taormina.

• Experience the healing, detoxifying and tension-releasing power of the European-inspired Serene Spa & Wellness Hydrothermal Suite, exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer. Relax before or after spa treatments and enjoy Regent's multisensory aromatherapy steam room, chill room, infrared sauna and experiential showers.

Serene Spa & Wellness will launch on each Regent ship during these voyages:

• Seven Seas Explorer - Dec. 7, 2019 voyage

• Seven Seas Mariner - Jan. 6, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Voyager - Jan. 7, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Navigator - Jan. 23, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Splendor - Feb. 6, 2020 voyage

Disney Cruise Line Announces Return to New Orleans
In early 2021, Disney Cruise Line will return to New Orleans for a limited-time engagement with sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including visits to Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay. A lineup of popular itineraries will continue across the Disney fleet with cruises to tropical destinations from Texas, California and Florida.

Return to New Orleans
Back by popular demand, the Disney Wonder will return to the bayou from late January through February 2021 with a series of magical voyages. A pair of four- and five-night cruises to the Western Caribbean kick off the season from New Orleans. The five-night voyage includes a visit to Progreso, Mexico, a new port of call for Disney Cruise Line on the Yucatan Peninsula. This quaint town is filled with treasures for families to explore together, from ancient Mayan ruins to hidden swimming holes filled with crystal-clear water.

Three seven-night sailings to the Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay, plus a 14-night Panama Canal cruise, round out the departures from the Crescent City in early 2021.

Guests sailing from New Orleans will experience the flavors and flair of the Big Easy both onboard the Disney Wonder and ashore. The sounds and sights of New Orleans come to life at Tiana's Place restaurant, where families are transported to an era of southern charm, spirited jazz and street party celebrations with live music and other surprises inspired by the Disney animated film "The Princess and the Frog." Before or after their cruise, guests can savor the city's distinct cuisine, visit family-friendly museums and parks, and take in the sounds of world-renowned live jazz music.

Popular Itineraries from Texas and California
The Disney Wonder will also return to the popular home ports of Galveston and San Diego in early 2021. Guests sailing from Texas can enjoy the white-sand beaches of the Western Caribbean on a series of four- and six-night cruises to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. One seven-night departure will feature stops at Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Following the season in New Orleans, the Disney Wonder heads to the West Coast for a variety of sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera departing from San Diego. Families can hunt for gold aboard a pirate ship in Cabo San Lucas, embark on an off-road adventure in Ensenada or sunbathe on glittering sand beaches on cruises ranging from three to seven nights.

Bahamian and Caribbean Getaways from Florida
Disney Cruise Line will have three ships sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida in early 2021, and every cruise includes a day at Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay. This award-winning destination, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, is the ultimate escape for everyone in the family. A day at Castaway Cay offers opportunities for adventure and relaxation in a lush, tropical setting filled with classic Disney storytelling.

• From Miami, the Disney Magic will sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian and Western Caribbean cruises.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises.

With a variety of options from Florida, guests can experience spectacular cruises full of fun and relaxation – featuring Broadway-style shows, immersive themed dining, imaginative kids clubs, character encounters and spaces for everyone in the family.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced financial results for the third quarter ended August 31, 2019 and provided an outlook for the full year, fourth quarter 2019 and 2020.

Key Highlights

• U.S. GAAP net income of $1.8 billion, or $2.58 diluted EPS, for the third quarter of 2019, higher than U.S. GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2018 of $1.7 billion, or $2.41 diluted EPS.

• Third quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $1.8 billion, or $2.63 adjusted EPS, higher than adjusted net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.36 adjusted EPS, for the third quarter of 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $39 million for the third quarter of 2019 and net gains of $34 million for the third quarter of 2018.

• Total revenues for the third quarter of 2019 were $6.5 billion, higher than the $5.8 billion in the prior year.
Gross cruise revenues of $6.3 billion compared to $5.7 billion for the prior year.
In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $5.0 billion compared to $4.7 billion for the prior year, an increase of 5.3 percent.

Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.23 to $4.27, reflecting recent fuel price increases, compared to June guidance of $4.25 to $4.35 and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Third Quarter 2019 Results

Key information for the third quarter of 2019 compared to the third quarter of 2018:

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 5.6 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields decreased 0.5 percent, in line with June guidance of down slightly to flat.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 9.4 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD decreased 3.2 percent, better than June guidance of up 0.5 to 1.5 percent, due to the timing of expenses between quarters and cost improvements realized during the quarter.

• Changes in fuel prices increased earnings by $0.07 per share, offset by a decrease in earnings due to changes in currency exchange rates of $0.07 per share compared to the prior year. Compared to June guidance, changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.03 per share.

Highlights from the third quarter included Carnival Cruise Line's partnership with Thrillist to create Island Hoppers, the first-ever comedy competition show at sea. Princess Cruises announced Phantom Bridge, a first-of-its-kind game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, which will launch onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. AIDAnova was the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the prestigious Blue Angel certification for excellence in environmentally friendly ship design by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment. Additionally, during the quarter, Carnival said that it released its 2018 Sustainability Report, detailing the key initiatives and progress made in 2018 toward its 2020 sustainability performance goals.

2019 Outlook

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated, "I thank our 150,000 global employees for their efforts to deliver a record quarter in an otherwise challenging year. We achieved additional cost improvements largely driven by leveraging our scale, offsetting the earnings impact due to voyage disruptions from the combined impact of Hurricane Dorian, the tensions in the Arabian Gulf and the delayed delivery of Costa Smeralda. A further reduction in guidance for ticket and onboard revenue worth $0.06 per share in part contributed to by the high level of close-in voyage disruptions was also offset. However, due to an $0.08 impact from the recent spike in fuel prices caused by geopolitical events, we are reducing our full year guidance for 2019 by $0.05 per share."

Based on current booking trends, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 4.0 percent, with capacity growth of 4.2 percent. Carnival said that it continues to expect its North America & Australia segment yields to be up for the year, but slightly less than previous guidance while its Europe & Asia segment is still expected to be down for the year but slightly more than previous guidance. Carnival said that it expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.3 percent versus the prior year compared to June guidance of up approximately 0.7 percent.

Weather related voyage disruptions, the tensions in the Arabian Gulf and a ship delivery delay are expected to have a financial impact of $0.04 to $0.06 per share compared to June guidance. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.08 per share also compared to June guidance. Taking the above factors into consideration, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.23 to $4.27, reflecting recent fuel price increases, compared to June guidance of $4.25 to $4.35 and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Outlook

Fourth quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be down 2.0 to 3.0 percent compared to the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the fourth quarter are expected to be up 4.0 to 5.0 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.06 per share compared to the prior year. Voyage disruptions due to weather, a ship delivery delay and the previously announced U.S. government's policy change on travel to Cuba are expected to have a financial impact of approximately $0.07 to $0.09 per share. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2019 to be in the range of $0.46 to $0.50 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $0.70.

2020 Outlook

Cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2020 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line compared to 2019 on a comparable basis. Since June, both booking volumes and prices for the first half of next year have been running lower than the prior year.

For full year 2020, Carnival said that it expects capacity growth of approximately 7 percent. As previously indicated, in 2020 Carnival said that it will increase its usage of MGO as a percent of total fuel consumption as a result of the IMO sulfur emission regulations. MGO is currently anticipated to represent approximately 40 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 compared to approximately 20 percent for full year 2019. Using fourth quarter September guidance fuel prices, fuel expense for full year 2020 is expected to be $1.8 billion compared to $1.6 billion expected for full year 2019. Carnival said that it currently expects depreciation to be approximately $2.4 billion for full year 2020 compared to $2.2 billion for full year 2019.

Donald added, "As a truly global cruise company, with nearly 50 percent of our guests sourced outside of the U.S., we are facing a number of current headwinds, including weakening economies affecting our Europe & Asia segment, a strong dollar and of course, the IMO 2020 regulations, and we are working to mitigate them. We have taken actions to bring capacity in Southern Europe more in line with demand, reflecting the current conditions which have been heavily influenced by ongoing economic malaise, the uncertain geopolitical environment and recent trends in consumer confidence. We have also made close-in deployment changes, including those made to address the recent situation in the Arabian Gulf, which has had an impact on recent booking trends and ticket prices. While we are subject to uneven economies in the short run, the global aspect of our business has proven to be a strength over time, producing our industry leading position with over $5 billion in cash from operations, attractive returns on capital and the strongest balance sheet in the industry."

New Video Game-Themed Show Yo Debut Onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises, a cruise industry innovator in offering guests original production shows, today announced yet another new theatrical experience with the debut of 5-SKIES onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. This technologically enhanced production show features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess guests enter the greatest virtual reality game of all-time with main character "Gamer 1" attempting to complete a series of five increasingly difficult levels, meeting different personalities along the way in an attempt to reach the highest level where the Sky Princess character resides. Performed in cadence with a contemporary song list, 5-SKIES is set amongst digital effects, spectacular acrobatics, dazzling costume designs and complex backdrops.

"Our team of creators and collaborators have once again pushed the boundaries of theatrical entertainment design at sea and 5-SKIES will take our guests on a musical journey through a digital universe of spectacle, sight and sound," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Our dedicated team is passionate about connecting new experiences to our guests and with the advance of technology and spectacular visual effects, 5-SKIES will surely wow our audiences."

5-SKIES is scheduled to debut onboard Sky Princess November 2019.

The 5-SKIES creative team includes:

Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson – choreographed for Grammy Award-winning artists Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Paula Abdul and Brit Award winners Robbie Williams and Tom Jones, with whom he won the VH1 Best Video Award for Sex Bomb. Teeson has acted as Carrie Underwood's creative director, conceptualizing and directing her Carnival Ride Tour, ACM Awards performance and was seen on Oxygen Network's hit show Dance Your Ass Off as a resident judge. Teeson also created and choreographed the award-winning show for Princess Cruises - Fantastic Journey which won a Themed Entertainment Association award for Outstanding Achievement.

Musical Arranger Nelson Kole – began his career on the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and soon became musical director/arranger for Don Rickles and Ben Vereen. As arranger and musical director of the 2009 Academy Awards, Kole worked with Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Queen Latifah.

Scenic Designer John Iacovelli – won the Emmy Award for his production design of the A&E presentation of Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival. His television production design credits include The Old Settler, The Gin Game, Ed, Babylon and Resurrection Blvd. He's received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Scenic Design and is a member of The Art Directors Guild.

Costume Designer Jackson Lowell – has designed costumes for many celebrities and concert tours including Katy Perry, Pink, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand and Usher. His television show credits include American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Lost, Private Practice and Scrubs. Lowell has also designed for many notable dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Company, Paul Taylor, San Francisco Ballet, Twyla Tharp, Oakland Dance Company and Philadanco.

This creative team is also behind the previously announced Rock Opera, another new production show scheduled to debut onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. Rock Opera features incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. It will be brought to life by special guest tenor and America's Got Talent alum Brian Justin Crum.

Carnival Corporation Relief Effort Delivers 10 Million Pounds of Supplies to Bahamas
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced its relief effort collected an estimated 10 million pounds of food and supplies for The Bahamas. In partnership with Tropical Shipping, the program began Sept. 4, three days after Hurricane Dorian struck the northwestern part of The Bahamas, and generated an outpouring of generous donations that has filled over 250 shipping containers. Most of the containers were delivered directly to the country's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over the past three weeks, providing immediate relief to residents impacted by the storm. In close coordination with NEMA, the remaining containers are in process of being delivered as soon as possible for distribution.

"We are so appreciative of all the individuals and organizations that moved with such a sense of urgency and heartfelt concern to collect and drop off a remarkable volume of donations in a very short amount of time, all of which were delivered when needed most in the immediate aftermath of the storm," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "It is truly inspiring to see so many people and organizations come together to help others in a time of need. We extend our deepest appreciation to everyone involved with the program. The donations have made and are making a big difference for our neighbors in The Bahamas."

The success of the program, which concluded Sept. 27, was driven by donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America, with collection sites across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Carnival Corporation continues to provide support to The Bahamas in a number of ways. Last week, the company signed agreements to develop a new cruise port primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama, and construct a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line's Half Moon Cay port. The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.

On Sept. 12, Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS), owned in part by Carnival Corporation, announced it officially resumed operations and welcomed back its first commercial vessel, the Agathonissos, owned by Greece-based Eletson, for repair work. The shipyard, located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, remains on track for the next planned cruise ship visit, Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy, scheduled to arrive on October 5. In total, Grand Bahama Shipyard expects to service 29 dry-dockings throughout the remainder of the year, helping support recovery efforts through the ongoing work of its more than 600 employees and the additional economic activity generated for the surrounding area of Grand Bahama. Last week the shipyard dry-docked its first ship since reopening following the storm, which is a significant step toward returning to normal operations.

Through the end of the year, Carnival Corporation brands will visit Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. The three destinations received little impact from Hurricane Dorian, and the return to regular sailings is an important step in national recovery efforts in support of the country's tourism industry and its vital economic impact on local businesses and people. In total, six of the company's nine global brands plan to call on The Bahamas in the 2019-2020 cruise season.

The company's cruise line brands are conducting donation drives through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $500,000 to the two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts. Two Carnival Cruise Line ships – Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride – visited Freeport the week of Sept. 13 to deliver relief supplies, including dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws and more.

Carnival Corporation and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, are among those providing support to Chef Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen, which is serving more than 25,000 meals per day to people throughout The Bahamas. As of September 24, the charity has provided over 500,000 meals throughout the Bahamas.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.71 - 8.36%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 108.33 - 1.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.91 - 3.19%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.77 - 3.25%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Most people know that Cunard's Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth served as troopships during World War II. Which two cruise ships served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982?

Answer - Cunard's Transatlantic liner the s/s Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's liner Canberra were both requisitioned by the British government for service as troopships during the Falklands War in 1982.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont MA, USA


Cruise News - September 23, 2019

Costa neoRiviera to Become Become AIDAmira After Refit
Costa neoRiviera, which currently operrates under the Costa Cruises brand, will be transformed in Genoa into the new AIDAmira, destined for the German brand AIDA Cruises, with a total investment of 50 million euros and over 1000 workers involved.

An agreement was signed this week with the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard, which will carry out a significant part of the work from October 30 to November 28, 2019.

The order also involves the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard, whose contribution was made official today with the signing of an agreement, at the Italian company's Genoa headquarters, by Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and Ferdinando Garrè, CEO of San Giorgio del Porto, in the presence of the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini and the Councilor for City Planning, Public Property and Urban Renewal of the Municipality of Genoa, Simonetta Cenci.

The restyling work, which will last about a month, will lead to the transformation of the Costa neoRiviera, a ship currently in service for the Costa Cruises brand, into the new AIDAmira, destined for the German brand AIDA Cruises. Both brands are part of the Costa Group, a market leader in Europe and China. A total of about 1000 workers will be involved, 150 of them working directly for the shipyard.

"This new investment in the city of Genoa, with a local partner like San Giorgio del Porto, is a further tangible sign of our link with Genoa and Liguria and of the positive impact that our Group can have locally. We have carried out a study on this subject, which has given very impressive results: in just one year, the Costa Group has generated an economic impact in Europe of 12.6 billion euros and over 63,000 jobs. It is precisely the shipbuilding industry that accounts for the largest part of this impact, thanks to the plan to expand and renew our fleet, but also the contribution that comes directly from each guest, amounting on average to 74.60 euros in every port visited, is particularly significant. Italy is among the top destinations for our guests, with 3.2 million passenger movements, a figure that is going to grow also thanks to AIDAmira, which will be calling at three ports in Southern Italy next summer” - said Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia».

"We are honored that the Costa Group continues to give us confidence and to believe in the know-how and technical skills of the Genoese shipbuilding industry and of San Giorgio del Porto in particular, despite the many infrastructure-related difficulties that continue to prevent the full development of ship repair and refitting activities. Costa's decision to bring a job of this magnitude to Genoa could not be taken for granted and for this we are grateful to the company" - said Ferdinando Garrè, CEO of San Giorgio del Porto».

Holland America Line Debuts 2020 Grand Africa Voyage
In 2020, Holland America Line will debut a new Grand Africa Voyage that circles the continent and features more than a dozen epic safari experiences and wildlife encounters. The premium cruise line also is offering 2020 and 2021 Grand South America and Antarctica voyages in which an Amazon River exploration and in-depth Antarctica cruising anchor the itineraries.

Cruising from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage departs Oct. 3, 2020, aboard Amsterdam, offering the ideal mid-sized ship for the journey. Volendam sets sail Jan. 5, 2020, on a 77-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, while the 2021 journey departs Jan. 4 for 74 days.

"Our longer Grand Voyages are the pinnacle of worldly exploration in the most immersive way, and for years guests have asked for Africa so we set out to deliver the most authentic itinerary that delves deep into the continent," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "The Grand South America & Antarctic Voyage continues to be popular for the variety of cultures it offers. The ship goes from the tropics to glaciers and everything in between, all in one cruise. The 2020 itinerary is selling well and we're excited to open 2021 for our guests who are ready to start planning."

Spectacular Grand Africa Voyage an Adventurer's Dream
Holland America Line's Grand Africa Voyage departs Boston Oct. 3, 2020, on a 79-day itinerary that circles the continent on a clockwise route, making 19 African calls and exploring the Middle East. The ship visits Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and then Fort Lauderdale where guests can embark for a 74-day roundtrip cruise. Amsterdam then crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Madeira and Lanzarote. Guests will then explore Moroccan traditions at Agadir and Casablanca; take in a kaleidoscope of colors at La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; and visit the island of Malta. The ship transits the Suez Canal en route to Aqaba, Jordan, for an overnight call and the opportunity to travel to the Lost City of Petra.

After a call at Salalah, Oman, Amsterdam overnights at the idyllic port of Victoria in the Seychelles, boasting pristine natural beauty and a vibrant Creole heritage.

Wildlife takes center stage for the upcoming calls on the Grand Africa Voyage, with several safari opportunities. An overnight at Mombasa, Kenya, affords guests the chance to go to Serengeti National Park or Maasi Mara Reserve. Guests also can go overland to Ngorongoro Crater or take a day safari at Tsavo National Park.

At Zanzibar, Tanzania, guests can visit the Jozani Forest Reserve and see the rare red colobus monkey, while a call at Mamoudzou, Mayotte, offers world-class snorkeling and diving. Lokobe National Park and the Black Lemur Sanctuary can be visited during a call at Andoany (Hell-Ville), Nosy-Be, Madagascar; and the call at Maputo, Mozambique, is the gateway for an overland to Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. Richards Bay, South Africa, offers an abundance of wildlife EXCursions, including overland tours to Phinda Mountain Lodge and Thanda Private Game Reserve.

The ship then arrives at Cape Town, South Africa, for two full days and an array of memorable experiences. Guests can visit world-famous wineries, explore Table Mountain, view Nelson Mandela's prison cell, coast along Chapman's Peak Drive, go overland to Kulala Desert Lodge, head out on a local safari and more.

Amsterdam begins the final leg of the Africa adventure cruising up the west coast of the continent to Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia; Luanda, Angola; Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal; and Mindelo, Cape Verde. The ships spends five leisurely days crossing the Atlantic Ocean to San Juan, Puerto, Rico, before arriving in Fort Lauderdale Dec. 21.

Grand South America & Antarctica 2021
In 2021, Volendam embarks on a 74-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, which visits 34 ports in eight countries and various Caribbean islands. The circumnavigation includes extensive exploration of two juxtaposed natural wonders: the Amazon River and Antarctica. Overnight calls include two nights at Callao (Lima), Peru; and single nights at Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.

The roundtrip Fort Lauderdale voyage departs Jan. 4, 2021, and transits the Panama Canal before heading to Ecuador and Peru. Two nights at Callao afford guests time to take an overland tour to the famed site of Machu Picchu. Two more calls in Peru and seven visits throughout Chile set a course for scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords, the Strait of Magellan, the Cockburn and Beagle channels, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn. A call at Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of Argentina kicks off four days of spectacular scenic cruising in Antarctica where iceberg-dotted waters and an abundance of wildlife await.

After leaving Antarctica, Volendam begins the journey northward to the Falkland Islands, Uruguay and Argentina. During an overnight at Buenos Aires, guests can take in a sultry tango show or indulge in an overland tour to Iguazu Falls. Brazil takes center stage, with 12 calls throughout South America's largest country, including an overnight in Rio de Janeiro. The journey along the Amazon River takes the ship to Manaus for an overnight, giving guests time to enjoy a performance at the Teatro Amazonas Opera House. Two Caribbean calls at beautiful tropical isles provide the perfect ending before the ship reaches Fort Lauderdale.

Grand South America & Antarctica 2020
Volendam also offers a similar Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage in 2020, departing Jan. 5 for a 77-day journey. During the cruise, the ship visits 37 ports in seven countries and several Caribbean islands. Overnight calls include Fuerte Amador, Panama; and Callao, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus.

The 2020 voyage also explores Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and 14 calls in Brazil, with Chilean Fjord and Glacier Alley scenic cruising, a four-day Antarctica Experience and Amazon River journey. Guests looking for a shorter cruise can book a 41-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires or a 36-day segment from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale.

NCL Partners With JUST Goods, Inc. To Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bottles Across Fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced another first as a result of its partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., which will enable the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore.

The decision is the latest sustainable step forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its 16-ship fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic bottles every year. These efforts are driven by the Company's Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

"We are a leading Company – one that is in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. Partnering with JUST is one of my proudest moments, as the head of our pioneering brand. This latest effort – the elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet – is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources. While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future."

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world's most valued resource - water. The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

"It's critical that businesses take a leading role in efforts to lighten the impact we have on our planet," said JUST Goods, Inc. CEO Ira Laufer. "We created JUST to do just that – to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so. The JUST team couldn't be happier to now share this goal with our partner, Norwegian Cruise Line. We're deeply appreciative of Norwegian's commitment that's so similar to ours – the Company is pushing the boundaries of what's always been done because it knows we all need to do better. We're thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL."

Celebrity Cruises Unlocks A World Of Wonders In New Campaign
Evoking wonder and intrigue, while breaking category conventions, Celebrity Cruises offers a first-look at their new brand campaign from new agency Lucky Generals. Aptly titled "Wonder Awaits," the first ad will premiere across key markets at the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

The television spot – produced by Iconoclast and set to the iconic Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit" – follows a female protagonist on a voyage of discovery through a dream-like wonderland of world-class cuisine, cocktails, Eden-istic experiences and alluring accommodations, all on the brand's newest ship, Celebrity Edge.

"'Wonder Awaits' is about bringing the experience of cruising with Celebrity to life in a dramatic, beautiful way," said Peter Giorgi, Chief Marketing Officer, Celebrity Cruises. "We wanted to show how unexpected moments, impeccable service and stunning design create a trip that is truly wonderful, and provides our guests with a break from reality, even just for an instant."

James Fox, Managing Partner of Lucky Generals in New York added: "We want viewers to see Celebrity the way we see Celebrity: As a modern and progressive brand with an incredible and unique product. We hope to convey the same feelings of wonder and intrigue you get from being on a Celebrity cruise, in a fresh way."

"Wonder Awaits" is the first campaign in conjunction with Lucky Generals who won the bid for Celebrity in fall 2018. The campaign comes hot off the successful launch of Celebrity Edge – which was recently named one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places1 – and was crafted with the intent of putting the award-winning brand's world-class product at the forefront to highlight Celebrity's distinction.

In addition to the flagship 60-second spot that premieres on Sunday, the work will span several creative mediums over the coming months, including additional 30- and 15-second spots, high-profile luxury and lifestyle print placements, billboards, digital media buys and more.

Celebrity Edge, which debuted in late 2018, was brought to life by a collective of visionary architects and designers and featuring stunning industry first innovations – such as the innovative Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda and the Magic Carpet, the world's first cantilevered platform that travels up to 16 decks alongside the ship. Celebrity Edge has already made an impact in the cruising industry thanks to its commitment to design, technological innovation and an array of extraordinary guest experiences. Celebrity Edge is currently visiting the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome, and will be returning to the Caribbean in November. Building on Celebrity Edge's incredible momentum, she'll be joined by Celebrity Apex in 2020, and two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

Carnival Receives Approval For Major Expansion Of Terminal F At PortMiami
Carnival Cruise Line expressed appreciation today to the Miami-Dade County Commission for approving a proposal for a complete renovation and major expansion of Cruise Terminal F at PortMiami that will be capable of supporting the operations of Carnival's new Excel class ship – clearing the way for the yet-to-be-named sister ship of Mardi Gras to be homeported in Miami when it is delivered in 2022.

"With today's approval, we will move quickly on a plan to remodel and expand Terminal F so that it will accommodate the most innovative class of ship to join our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown. Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August and is generating tremendous enthusiasm. Today's vote assures that the new ship and terminal expansion will both arrive in time for Carnival's 50th anniversary in 2022."

Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise operator in Miami with more year-round ships sailing from PortMiami than any other cruise line. The redesigned Terminal F will allow Carnival to continue to be the leader in the market, accommodating not only its largest and newest class of ship, but also allowing the line to bring its next LNG ship to south Florida. Duffy thanked local officials for their efforts to work cooperatively with the company to reach agreement on scope, timing and design work so that construction can be completed in time for the ship's late 2022 arrival. Mardi Gras, the first Carnival Excel class ship for the line, will be delivered in August 2020 and be homeported at Port Canaveral after inaugural sailings from Europe and New York.

When completed, Terminal F will be the third cruise terminal at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations. The agreement includes a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions.

The terminal's simple and open design by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami will allow for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival's largest class of ships, maximizing use of facial recognition technology and other elements to move guests through the embarkation process.

Expansion plans will result in Terminal F being Carnival's largest terminal in North America. All renovations are set for completion by October 2022 to welcome the Carnival Excel class ship arriving in late 2022.

Princess Cruises Appoints Prag Shah Global Head of Experience & Innovation Operations
Princess Cruises has appointed Prag (Pragnesh) Shah to the position of global head of experience & innovation operations, leading the continued activation and expansion of MedallionClass Vacations including digital and live immersive experiences across the cruise line's fleet. In this role, Shah directs the efforts to continue the successful delivery of services elevating guest and crew experiences powered by the OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry.

Shah brings more than 25 years of diverse strategy and operations leadership to this role particularly intersecting mobile, digital and customer experience. Most recently, he was president of WealthEngine, a data analytics company serving luxury brands and nonprofit organizations.

"Prag's extensive experience in leveraging technology to enhance the customers experience is critical in guiding our MedallionClass initiatives and seagoing teams in the extensive fleetwide rollout which is resulting in positive guest reactions," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We welcome him to Princess Cruises and look forward to his leadership and contributions to achieve success in this role."

As head of experience & innovation, Shah will oversee the expansion of MedallionClass Vacations on six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20).

MedallionClass Vacations are currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and next month when Sky Princess joins the fleet as the first new ship to enter services as a MedallionClass ship. By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.

Shah's prior roles include global president of Rosetta Stone, vice president of innovation of Sprint Corporation and chief operating officer/chief executive officer of venture-backed IoT car services and mobile payments companies. Shah started his career as an aerospace engineer at NASA.

He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in engineering from The George Washington University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Shah serves on the board of Pratham USA, jumpstarting youth literacy in India, and was a founding member of the digital advisory group for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.70 - 2.49%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 109.55 - 3.84%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.94 - 1.05%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.51 + 0.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Most people know that Cunard's Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth served as troopships during World War II. Which two cruise ships served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - It was sporting a miniature blimp!
courtesy of Ronnie Russo, Tucson, Airzona


Cruise News - September 16, 2019

Cunard Announces 2021 Voyages
Cunard Line has announced its voyage program for the remainder of 2021, including an extended season in Japan and new voyages in Iceland, the Baltics, and North Cape. Cunard's iconic ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – will pamper travelers, offering an exquisite onboard experience as they visit remarkable cities around the globe.

Queen Victoria will offer a new 14-night itinerary in majestic Iceland, and will also sail a new nine-night Baltic itinerary with a maiden call at Aarhus, Denmark. Queen Elizabeth will spend more time in East Asia with five roundtrip Tokyo voyages, including a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea, followed by two Southeast Asia sailings before heading to Australia. Flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will increase the number of the brand's signature Transatlantic Crossings in 2021, with short breaks in Europe, along with New England & Canada voyages.

"In 2021, Cunard will focus each ship in unique regions of the world to offer our guests more immersive experiences," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended Spring season in Japan, Queen Victoria in Europe, and Queen Mary 2 will sail the unparalleled Transatlantic Crossing."

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 will continue to be the only ship to offer regularly-scheduled service between New York and London, making 23 Transatlantic Crossings from April through December in 2021, including Crossings from Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre (Paris), France. Queen Mary 2 will also sail her very popular New England & Canada voyages over the July Fourth holiday with an overnight in Boston, and in early October with overnight calls in Québec City. Other itineraries include the Norwegian Fjords, Caribbean, and short break five-night voyages in Western Europe.

Queen Mary 2 voyage highlights include:

• 23 seven- and eight-night Transatlantic Crossings, including those docking at Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre, France

• Western Europe Short Breaks, which can be added to a Crossing or booked separately; are five nights in length and feature stops in Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, St. Peter Port and Cherbourg

• Three seven-night Norwegian Fjord voyages roundtrip from London, in July and August

• The Fourth of July six-night Independence Day cruise, roundtrip from New York, with an overnight stay in historic Boston

• Two seven-night New England & Canada sailings between New York and Québec City on October 1 and 8, each including an overnight stay in Québec City

• A fourteen-night roundtrip NYC New England & Canada voyage

• Two Caribbean sailings roundtrip from New York including stops at a variety of islands; of which one will be a Thanksgiving voyage, and the other voyage during Christmas and New Year's holidays

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria will sail Northern Europe itineraries from May through November 2021, interspersed with a few Southern Europe voyages in late spring and during autumn, all of which are roundtrip out of Southampton, England. The ship will make one maiden call in Aarhus, Denmark, and will have overnight stays on various voyages in St. Petersburg, Russia; Reykjavik, Iceland; as well as Funchal and Lisbon, Portugal. Evening departures will be offered in Liverpool, England; Tromso and Narvik, Norway; and Funchal, Portugal.

Queen Victoria highlights include:

• Two new 14-night itineraries in Iceland, one featuring the British Isles ports of Belfast and Liverpool, and the other visiting the Scottish ports of New Haven and Invergordon; also calling at the Faroe Islands, Reykjavik, Inverness, and more

• A new nine-night Baltic itinerary calling at Aarhus (a maiden call) and Bornholm, Denmark; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Kiel, Germany; and Gothenburg, Sweden

• A new twelve-night North Cape voyage calling at six Norwegian ports

• A thirteen-night British Isles voyage, calling at St. Peter Port, Liverpool, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, and more.

• Four 7-night Norwegian Fjord voyages

• Two 14-night Western Mediterranean sailings calling at Porto, Barcelona, Cannes, Gibraltar and more; one 19-night Central Mediterranean voyage featuring calls at Dubrovnik, Zadar and Sibenik in Croatia

• Two 14-night Canary Islands itineraries calling at Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote

• A four-night Western Europe cruise visiting Rotterdam and Bruges

Queen Elizabeth
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended season in Japan with two additional Tokyo roundtrip sailings in the spring. The first will visit Western and Southern Japan ports of Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Busan and a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea. The second will circumnavigate Japan with calls in Aomori, Akita, Kanazawa, Nagasaki and Busan. After her June-August Alaska season (details to be released later this year), Queen Elizabeth will return to Japan for three Tokyo roundtrip voyages and then sail to Southeast Asia with overnight stays in the iconic ports of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. In November, the ship will sail to Australia and New Zealand.

Queen Elizabeth highlights include:

• Five roundtrip Tokyo itineraries ranging from seven to nine nights in May, September and October

• Two Asia/Orient sailings, 8 and 10 nights; port calls include Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Da Nang, Singapore, and more

• One 15-night Asia/Australia voyage from Singapore to Sydney in November with port calls at Jakarta, Bali, Brisbane, among others

• One 11-night Australia voyage from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand with port calls at Melbourne, Dunedin, Bay of Islands, and more

Royal Caribbean To Welcome First Quantum Ultra Class Ship To North America
Royal Caribbean International will dial up the adventure in South Florida in fall 2020 with the debut of the highly anticipated Odyssey of the Seas – the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America. The global cruise line's 27th ship will arrive to her seasonal homeport of Fort Lauderdale, FL in November 2020 to offer 8- and 6-night Caribbean cruises. Odyssey will then continue her inaugural year in Europe for summer 2021.

Offering even more ways to experience the sun-soaked islands of the Western and Southern Caribbean, Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to call on Aruba and Curacao as part of its 8-night itineraries. Island-hopping vacationers can explore Aruba's rugged landscape off-roading in Arikok National Park, and discover the beloved architecture and narrow streets of Willemstad, Curacao. Primed for memory-making, Odyssey's 6-night adventures will open the door to deep diving in Cozumel, Mexico; swimming with sea turtles in George Town, Grand Cayman; and a day of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay, home to Daredevil's Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America; Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon experience that soars up to 450 feet in the air; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool; and the pristine, white sand beaches of The Bahamas.

Odyssey's Caribbean cruises are now open for sale; and Europe itineraries will open in November 2019.

As part of the Quantum Ultra Class, Odyssey of the Seas will represent the next evolution of Royal Caribbean's groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum Class. First introduced in 2014, Quantum Class ships boldly redefined the industry with unprecedented innovations in design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology and multidimensional entertainment. Travelers on board Odyssey can expect to find an unrivaled combination of new, soon-to-be-announced experiences, plus "Only on Royal" features, including the RipCord by iFLY sky-diving adventure; North Star, a glass observation capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; the state-of-the-art Two70 entertainment venue; and a robust lineup of culinary experiences. The ship will also tout the SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor active space at sea, featuring a trapeze school, full-size basketball court, roller-skating rink and bumper cars.

Viking Announces New Ocean Offerings For 2021
Viking today announced its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company's standing as the largest and world's best small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun.

"The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do. We have always drawn inspiration from the original Viking explorers, who were the first to use the stars and constellations for long-distance navigation. Many elements onboard our ships honor those Viking explorers, and we are proud to host our guests on itineraries that sail some of those historic trading routes," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "I am pleased to announce that Viking Venus will join our fleet in 2021, allowing us the ability to introduce even more travelers to the Viking way of exploration."

Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean and today announced five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company's return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean's Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.

Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking's award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilization while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include:

• Istanbul, Turkey: Guests begin their journey with an overnight stay in Istanbul, allowing more time to explore the iconic city. Guests can visit a wealth of religious sites including the "Blue Mosque" one of the city's most recognizable sites, watch the mesmerizing whirling dervishes perform at a local venue, or participate in a centuries-old tradition at a hammam, a Turkish bath. Plus, Viking's Privileged Access offers guests the chance to tour the legendary Hagia Sofia free of crowds.

• Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey: Guests can explore the nearby well-preserved ruins of Troy, most remembered as the setting of the Trojan War, described by Homer in the Iliad, or visit the nearby Battlefields of Gallipoli, the tranquil memorial site of one of World War I's longest and deadliest battles.

• Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, Ephesus is rich in history and ancient relics. While in port, guests can visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, walk through the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, or visit the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.

• Rhodes, Greece: While on the island of Rhodes, guests can explore within the city walls of Old Town, Europe's largest active medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about island culture through a visit to a traditional village home, or head to one of the island's scenic mountaintops for sweeping views of the island and the Turkish coast.

• Heraklion, Greece: Located on the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts millennia-old history and was once the strongest fortified city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Guests can take in archeological splendors whose history is interwoven with the legends of Greek mythology, including the Palace of Knossos and the village of Arolithos, or explore the ruins of the Minoans, Europe's oldest recorded civilization.

• Athens, Greece: The journey concludes with an overnight stay in Athens, known as "the birthplace of democracy," where guests can witness iconic sites such as the Hellenic Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the mighty Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Viking also offers guests Privileged Access to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation's exhibit on British naval icon Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and the chance to tour a reconstructed ancient Athenian warship, the Olympias, once the dominant warship on the Mediterranean Sea from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.

Holland America Line's 2019-2020 Maasdam Voyages Offer a Cultural Journey Around the South Pacific, Mexico and Australia
Explorers, wanderers and travelers looking to connect with cultures around the world will have new itineraries aboard Holland America Line's Maasdam for its 2019-2020 cruising season. Ranging from seven- to 30-days, the popular journeys continue on the 1,258-guest Maasdam from September 2019 through April 2020 to the waters of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, along with two new Mexico itineraries and a new Pacific Coastal cruise. The Maasdam's specially curated itineraries set themselves apart with a dedicated onboard team of subject-matter experts and Excursions by Zodiac tours for up-close exploration.

"Guest feedback has been extremely positive from the first year of our innovative Maasdam voyages, and we're excited to continue into 2020 with more exceptionally planned itineraries that are ideal for this unique style of exploration," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "These cruises cater to seasoned travelers who are eager to find new ways to experience and understand the world and who seek enriching and in-depth programming as part of their journey."

Maasdam voyages depart from Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Papeete, Tahiti; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Late-night departures and overnight calls are a highlight of the voyages so guests have more time in port to experience the nightlife. Guests will have late-night departures at Adelaide and Phillip Island, Australia; Suva, Fiji; Nouméa, New Caledonia; Auckland and Tauranga, New Zealand; Hobart, Tasmania; Papeete and Huahine Iti, French Polynesia; Lahaina and Honolulu, Hawaii; Victoria, British Columbia; and Loreto, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The ship overnights at Fremantle (Perth), Australia; Hobart; Papeete; and Vaitape, Bora Bora.

In addition to the new Mexico and Pacific Coastal cruises, new itineraries include a 10-day New Zealand & Coral Sea Odyssey and 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure.

Nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries can be combined to form even longer voyages ranging from 19 to 51 days that showcase multiple regions.

Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hawaii The season begins in September with the new 10- or 21-day New Zealand & Coral Sea Odyssey cruise from Sydney to Auckland or roundtrip Sydney. The 10-day sailing explores the pristine islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, while the 21-day itinerary explores six ports throughout New Zealand and Milford Sound.

Travelers who want a total Australia exploration can embark Oct. 17, 2019, on the 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney that circles the continent. The itinerary calls at 13 Australian ports, exotic Komodo Island, and includes scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait, Ribbon Reef and a sunrise at Lizard Island.

The unique Maasdam voyages continue with a series of itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands before the ship sails for the Hawaiian Islands. The March 15, 2020 departure is a 19-day cruise from Papeete to San Diego that includes five calls in Hawaii, an overnight at Bora Bora, a call at Christmas Island, an equator crossing and an International Dateline crossing.

Two new Mexico & Sea of Cortez cruises depart April 3 and 15, 2020, and sail roundtrip from San Diego. These 12-day itineraries feature unique scenic cruising in Bahi´a Magdalena and call at Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Mazatla´n and Puerto Vallarta, deeply immersing guests in the culture of the country.

Departing April 27, 2020, the new seven-day Pacific Coastal voyage sails from San Diego to Vancouver and calls at Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and Victoria, British Columbia.

Onboard the specially curated Maasdam itineraries, enrichment is guided by a resident team of subject-matter experts. Maasdam also carries eight Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, so guests can enjoy opportunities to intimately explore less-accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ship's Shore EXCursion program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides co-guide Zodiac outings to enrich the experience for guests.

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Encore Moments Campaign To Reward Everyday Heroes
Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled its Encore Moments campaign to recognize and reward everyday heroes across North America.

Launched in advance of the debut of the brand's newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, the company is encouraging the public to nominate those who deserve an encore - applause - for the positive impact they have on their friends, family and communities. Leveraging the ship's festive name for an engaging campaign, Encore Moments will recognize the good works of individuals across the U.S. and Canada by awarding a cruise to one winner from every state and province. This new campaign was developed on the heels of the brand's wildly successful Giving Joy campaign, which recognized and rewarded teachers who spread joy in the classroom.

"We are in the people business, delivering positive, memorable experiences around the world," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We believe it is very important to make the time to celebrate and thank the people whose acts of kindness and compassion make a difference in the lives of their friends and families, and within their communities. We are very proud and excited to launch Encore Moments and we encourage the public to bring these hometown heroes to the forefront for a well-deserved encore."

Norwegian Cruise Line's Encore Moments campaign, which runs from Sept. 18, 2019 to Oct. 18, 2019 will recognize and reward 52 people across the U.S. (one person from each state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), and one person from each of Canada's provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). The 64 nominees with the most votes in their state, province or territory will win their choice of a three-to-five-day cruise for two on almost any Norwegian Cruise Line ship. They will also be provided airfare and accommodations for an award ceremony taking place in New York City on December 16, 2019.

To nominate a hero, vote and review the terms and conditions, please visit www.encoremoments.ncl.com.

Carnival Corporation Relief Effort Collects 2,841 Tons of Supplies for The Bahamas
Carnival Corporation today announced that its relief program to provide humanitarian aid to The Bahamas collected and delivered during its first week over 2,841 tons of food and supplies in over 90 shipping containers – a remarkable milestone made possible by generous donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America.

"The outpouring of support for our friends in the Bahamas has been so touching, and so many people and organizations have stepped up asking how they can get involved," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We want to publicly thank everyone who has made donations for their efforts, support and genuine concern for our friends and neighbors in The Bahamas. Through our partnership with Tropical Shipping, we are able to ship much-needed supplies directly to The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency in Freeport for distribution to the thousands of Bahamians lacking food, water and life's most essential needs. The response has been inspiring, and we cannot thank everyone enough."

Added Frizzell: "With the program continuing, we encourage everyone to please stay involved in this humanitarian mission." Details regarding donation collections are further below.

While food and supplies have been provided by many anonymous donors, some of the most significant donations have been made by Broward County Public Schools, Cheney Brothers, the City of Dania Beach, City of Pembroke Pines, Florida International University, JM Honda of Miami, Mater Lakes Academy, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Peanut Proud, Sedano's Supermarket, Starbucks Coffee, United Way of Broward County and Xtreme Aviation.

In addition, collection efforts are being coordinated with the City of Miramar Fire Rescue, and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Bahamas, providing shipping for supplies being donated at its Washington, D.C., embassy. Additionally, Social Global Leaders, in partnership with United Way of Miami-Dade, is donating up to 200 "eco-filters" – reusable and sustainable water purification systems that convert saltwater to water that is safe to drink.

Thanks to the ongoing dedicated efforts in South Florida and throughout North America, Carnival Corporation and Tropical Shipping were able to support the direct shipment of medical supplies, water, food, cots, tents, wheelbarrows, shovels, chainsaws, generators, appliances, clothing and other essentials. The effort included two Carnival Cruise Line ships, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride, delivering donated items to Freeport. In addition, Carnival Corporation brands are conducting donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $350,000 to the two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.

Numerous drop-off locations for relief supplies are now open throughout South Florida for the ongoing effort, and a list at the end of this announcement includes addresses, contact information, hours of operation and other relevant details for each collection point. For those outside South Florida, supplies can be shipped directly to Tropical Shipping's address in Riviera Beach.

In addition to the deliveries, Carnival Corporation is working with charities positioned throughout the Bahamas. This includes supporting Rand Hospital, the main hospital on Grand Bahama, by providing medical equipment and supplies in partnership with Direct Relief. Carnival Corporation and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, are among those providing support to World Central Kitchen, which is serving more than 25,000 meals per day to people in Abaco and Grand Bahama. As of September 16, Chef Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen has provided over 250,000 meals throughout the Bahamas. To support World Central Kitchen's efforts, donate here.

While relief support is ongoing, popular destinations in The Bahamas that had little impact from the hurricane have returned to normal operations, an important development in the country's recovery.

Carnival Corporation announced September 13 that three of its cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – are returning to the Bahamas and resuming regular guest sailings. Collectively, the three brands are planning over 250 sailings to The Bahamas through the end of 2019, supporting the country's tourism industry, which has a vital positive economic impact on local businesses and people. The sailings will bring visitors and business to Nassau and the company's Bahamian private island destinations, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.

In addition, Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport reopened September 11, receiving its first commercial vessel since the storm. The shipyard remains on track for the next planned cruise ship dry-dock visit, Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy, scheduled to arrive on October 5.

Carnival Corporation recently announced its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, its nine global cruise line brands and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival Corporation Announces Creation Of Incident Analysis Group
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Sandra Rowlett as vice president of the company's newly created Incident Analysis Group (IAG). Rowlett reports directly to Peter Anderson, the newly appointed chief ethics and compliance officer for Carnival Corporation, and is based at the company's headquarters in Miami.

In this role leading IAG, Carnival Corporation's new internal investigations group, Rowlett will oversee a team of global investigators focused on analyzing select health, environment, safety and security (HESS) events within the company's nine cruise line brands. She is also responsible for leading efforts to deploy new global investigation procedures, develop an investigator training and certification program, and standardize a company-wide, root-cause analysis system to aid in continuous operational improvement.

As Carnival Corporation's investigative arm that operates independent of the company's brands, IAG is charged with investigating HESS-related events, making recommendations to enhance policies, procedures and training, recommending robust corrective and preventative action plans, and sharing lessons learned to prevent recurrence. Additionally, the group will investigate issues that extend beyond a single event to enhance safety and environmental protection from a broader perspective, and develop training programs that will be provided to brand investigators to standardize and improve the quality of investigations across the company's global cruise brands.

"With over 100 ships sailing to more than 700 ports around the world, it's imperative that we are thorough and diligent when it comes to the health, safety and security of our guests and crew, and protecting the environments and destinations where we operate, which are top priorities for all of us," said Anderson. "Every effective ethics and compliance program needs a robust and thorough investigative team. Sandy brings valuable experience and insights to Carnival Corporation from decades of investigative and safety-focused work, and has assembled a world-class team of investigators who are positioned around the globe. We look forward to her group's support in gathering facts, determining the root cause of incidents, identifying operational improvements and sharing best practices across our brands."

Added Anderson: "Expanding this team is another example of our company's even stronger commitment to improve environmental compliance and excellence across the global fleet."

As part of her role heading up IAG, Rowlett is leading the effort to expand the group and strategically position four additional investigators around the globe to allow for quick response and action for any incidents that occur across the corporation's global brands. Currently, IAG team members reporting to Rowlett are based in Miami, Orlando and Hamburg, Germany, with four additional team members to be based in Southampton, U.K.; Sydney, Australia; Santa Clarita, Calif.; and Genoa, Italy.

Rowlett joins Carnival Corporation following a long career leading investigations and spearheading safety initiatives, having worked nearly three decades at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in various positions. Her tenure at the NTSB included leadership positions overseeing aviation accident investigations, and railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations. Rowlett also served as an air traffic controller at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and in the United States Air Force.

Rowlett earned a bachelor's degree in management studies from the University of Maryland University College and a Master of Aeronautical Science in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2002, Rowlett received a letter of appreciation from the FBI in recognition of outstanding support for her work at the World Trade Center following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. She also holds a private pilot license for single-engine planes with an instrument rating.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 48.92 + 2.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.93 + 3.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.34 + 0.76%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama a consortium of Japanese companies chartered the QE2 for 72 days from March 27th 1989. She docked alongside the passenger terminal as a central attraction and although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield UK


Cruise News - September 9, 2019

MSC Announces Plans To Stretch MSC Magnifica
MSC Cruises announced this week that MSC Magnifica will undergo an extensive transformation which will see her stretched by 23 meters. After her makeover Magnifica will offer 215 extra cabins, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, two new restaurants and a new shopping area. The newly refurbished MSC Magnifica will offer brand-new itineraries for Summer 2021 sailing from Southampton.

In an effort to further enhance the guest experience, MSC Cruises is completely transforming MSC Magnifica by cutting the ship in half and adding a 23-meter-long section. This will add an additional 7,000 m2 of space to the ship. This will result in 215 extra cabins, bringing the total number of balcony cabins to 63% of the overall ship, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, plus additional features such as two new restaurants and a new shopping area.

This is not the first time MSC Cruises have refurbished and stretched existing ships in the fleet. In 2015 the four ships of the much loved Lirica class underwent a significant renovation as part of the €130 million ‘Renaissance project’, to improve facilities and enhance the onboard experience.

When the works are completed, MSC Magnifica will feature two new major and important onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing leading-edge environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system.

SCR technology helps reduce nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology. MSC Cruises also took the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system on board that meets the highest standards and that purifies used wastewater to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world.

To help reduce and continuously minimize emissions also while in port, the ship will be able to ‘plug in’ to the local power grid wherever such systems are available at berth.

After her extensive transformation MSC Magnifica will offer 24 sailings from Southampton. Beginning in May and ending in October 2021, Magnifica will sail cruises ranging from 2 to 14 nights with brand new varied itineraries encompassing Canary Islands & Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic Capitals. Most of the 24 sailings will begin on a Saturday ensuring guests can make the most of their holiday experience.

With their fantastic climate, distinctive landscapes and bustling ports the 12-night cruise that calls at three of the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote) departing early May is perfectly timed to catch the sun.

A 3-night May Bank Holiday Mini Cruise is perfect for the first-time cruiser who wants a taster of a holiday at sea or the experienced cruiser looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Guests will set sail from Southampton late on Friday evening and spend the day in Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton.

There are two opportunities to discover the much-loved Baltic Capitals, on a 12-night cruise departing 31st May or on a 14-night cruise departing 11th September. Offering slightly different itineraries with added highlights on the 14-night itinerary including an overnight stay in the Swedish Capital Stockholm, and a visit to Denmark’s Skagen. Both sailings include an overnight onboard stay in St Petersburg and a visit to Norway’s capital, Oslo.

MSC Magnifica will also offer four different stunning Norwegian Fjord itineraries and will call at two brand new destinations: Skagen in Denmark, renowned for hours of sun and unique light, plus Rosendal in Norway, which is the world’s fourth largest fjord. Other popular ports of call include Flam and Stavanger.

A 14-night Western Mediterranean cruise in August has been developed with families in mind. Departing on the 7th August this no-fly cruise begins with two sea days to give guests a chance to settle in. Then it’s action packed itinerary allows you to explore seven different ports in nine days including a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca and a visit to the exclusive Monte Carlo.

Norwegian Cruise Line Names Godmother To Norwegian Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, announced today on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that GRAMMY Award-winning artist and superstar Kelly Clarkson will serve as the godmother to its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November.

The cruise line's President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart appeared on Clarkson's new nationally syndicated daytime show produced and distributed by NBCUniversal, to invite her to join the Norwegian Cruise Line family as godmother to Norwegian Encore.

As godmother, she will perform at the christening ceremony in Miami on Thursday, Nov. 21, as well as fulfill the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming the beautiful Norwegian Encore.

"We knew we wanted someone who represents our core values," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer. "Kelly is a role model who is passionate about family and community, as well as music and entertainment. These are our passions too! We are honored to have her join our family of godparents and look forward to celebrating Norwegian Encore's debut in Miami with her, this November."

To celebrate her new title as godmother to Norwegian Encore, Clarkson and Norwegian Cruise Line recognized and awarded 20 deserving music educators on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" with a seven-day cruise, showcasing the mutual appreciation for education and travel as a powerful tool that connects people and promotes awareness and understanding around the world.

"I am so honored to be named the godmother to Norwegian Encore, and to get to be a part of such a special ceremony to christen the new ship in Miami," said Kelly Clarkson. "I believe that surrounding yourself with the ones you love and taking time for them is important while having the most amazing and unforgettable vacation, which is what Norwegian Cruise Line stands for and provides for its guests."

Taking the brand's exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world's longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company's history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, "Kinky Boots" will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites "The Choir of Man," "Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical" and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020; and in the spring of 2021 will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Viking Announces Partnership With The Upcoming Downton Abbey Film
Viking today announced it has partnered with Focus Features, Universal Pictures and Carnival Films for the release of the new full-length film Downton Abbey, based on the Emmy Award-winning series. Viking became a household name during its sponsorship of the celebrated series MASTERPIECE through the years Downton Abbey aired on PBS, and this new premier partnership builds on the company's continued commitment to enriching cultural programming. Today marks the film's global premiere in London, which will be in U.S. theaters on September 20.

For years Viking has offered a variety of ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey. In celebration of the premiere, the company today unveiled a new Pre/Post Cruise Extension, Great Homes, Gardens & Gin, which was designed to give guests an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as the settings of acclaimed PBS and MASTERPIECE productions.

Starting in 2021, the new five-day extension will be available on Viking's Rhine Getaway river cruise itinerary and British Isles Explorer ocean cruise itinerary and allows guests to explore Oxford and experience English country life. The program includes Viking's Privileged Access tour of Highclere Castle, as well as a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the influential Fiennes family, whose members include the renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes. The castle also served as a setting for the award-winning MASTERPIECE series Wolf Hall. As part of the extension, guests will visit Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, best known for its appearance in the MASTERPIECE series Poldark – and stroll the gardens of Highgrove House, the private home of Charles, The Prince of Wales. While visiting Highclere Castle, guests will have an opportunity to taste the recently-launched Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by botanicals from the castle's gardens. The extension also includes a visit to the nearby Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn the history and production of gin.

"Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching the Downton Abbey series. For this reason, we are linked in the minds of many Downton Abbey fans," said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. "Partnering for the release of the new film is a natural extension of our close relationship with Highclere Castle and our close personal friendship with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – with whom we proudly created Viking's highest-rated cruise extension."

"Not only are Viking and Highclere linked through Downton Abbey, but Karine and I are linked through life and our dogs, and we warmly welcome our extended Viking family to explore our home," said Lady Carnarvon.

Today's announcement of the new extension visiting Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, builds on the success of Viking's longstanding relationship with the Carnarvon family. In addition to the new Great Homes, Gardens & Gin cruise extension, Viking also offers Oxford & Highclere Castle – its highest-rated Pre/Post Cruise Extension, which is available for guests on select river and ocean cruise itineraries. This Privileged Access extension was co-created and made possible by Karine Hagen and the Carnarvon family. The extension provides guests with an exclusive three-day experience in the rolling hills of England's countryside with a champagne welcome and a tour of the castle and estate.

Earlier this year, Viking also announced the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt, a Pre-Cruise Extension for the Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River cruise itinerary, which gives guests an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience, and includes retracing the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests experience Privileged Access to archives and museum exhibits not normally accessible to the public, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity view the earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Carnival Cruise Line to Deliver Hurricane Relief Supplies to The Bahamas
Continuing its ongoing efforts to assist and support residents of The Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that two ships departing from U.S. homeports next week will make stops in Freeport to distribute food, water and relief supplies.

The stops at Freeport to deliver supplies will be part of Carnival Pride's seven-day cruise from Baltimore departing Sept. 8 and Carnival Liberty's four-day cruise from Port Canaveral departing Sept. 9.

These efforts are in addition to supplies being transported to the Bahamas via the already announced agreement with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency to deliver items donated by residents of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. A container ship with the first shipment of supplies departed for Freeport this evening.

Additionally, Carnival Corporation's philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, and its nine global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for hurricane relief efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival has also asked employees and guests to join the effort through online giving tools, and over the next few days, will ramp up a donation program at its U.S. homeports as guests board their cruises. Organizations supported by these online efforts include Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.

"The Bahamian people are resilient with an unwavering spirit and Carnival and its employees are fully committed to helping residents rebuild and recover in the aftermath of the storm," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The devastation of the Bahamas is truly tragic and heartbreaking and we are keeping them in our thoughts as we continue to offer our support and assistance."

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Commits To $1 Million For Hurricane Relief
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced the relaunch of Hope Starts Here, the company's hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, and pledged a minimum commitment of $1 million toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

The Company has also vowed to match donations dollar-for-dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts across the Bahamas, including debris cleanup and removal, and the delivery of supplies and temporary shelters.

"Our hearts are heavy after witnessing the impact and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "We have been cruising to these islands for over 50 years and remain committed to its wonderful people during this unprecedented event. Through our partnership with All Hands and Hearts, we vow to match all donations collected to support the country's rebuilding efforts."

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is also coordinating with local Bahamian authorities to bring needed provisions to the affected areas, as quickly and as humanly possible. On Sept. 5, Norwegian Breakaway will depart Miami with hurricane relief supplies donated by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and its employees, in addition to items collected by the City of Miami, Baptist Health South Florida, the 305 Gives Back foundation, and other Miami-based organizations, to be delivered to Nassau, Great Harbor Cay, the company's private island Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

"We are pleased and humbled to again partner with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, to bring both immediate and long-term support to those who have so tragically suffered from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas," said Erik Dyson, chief executive officer of All Hands and Hearts. "We partnered, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, to help respond to and rebuild communities in Key West, St. Thomas, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and Dominica - this resulted in helping literally tens of thousands of people moving forward on their path to recovery. We look forward to continuing this joint impact working with and for the people of the Bahamas."

In 2017, the company launched Hope Starts Here in partnership with All Hands and Hearts following the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The company exceeded its goal of $2.5 million in donations to support immediate relief efforts in impacted areas including Key West, Fla.; Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten; and Dominica, and Tortola, British Virgin Islands where two schools were built following the storms.

To support the hurricane relief efforts of Hope Starts Here with a donation that will be matched by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., please visit http://www.nclhltd.com/hurricanerelief.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.61 + 8.01%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 110.61 + 6.07%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.94 + 4.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - The first new build for Carnival was the Tropicale in 1981.
courtesy of Nigel Kibel


Cruise News - September 2, 2019

Disney Cruise Line Reveals First Details on Newest Ship, New Bahamas Destination
At the recentD23 Expo, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek revealed the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, as well as a first look at the ship’s elegant, three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern. Chapek and Imagineer Joe Rohde also shared new details about plans for a second island destination for Disney Cruise Line in The Bahamas.

With a little help from Tinker Bell, Disney fans were the first to hear that Disney Wish will be the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.

“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” Chapek said.

A new rendering provided D23 attendees with a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.

Stern characters – a beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels – have been a tradition of the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.

“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories. The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic,” Chapek added.

The three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Disney’s Second Bahamas Destination – Lighthouse Point

Also at the D23 Expo today, Disney revealed new information and two early conceptual artist renderings for its second island destination in The Bahamas, which is located on the breathtaking island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point.

“With three new ships joining our fleet, we thought this would be an incredible opportunity to add another unique destination to our ports of call. We looked all over The Bahamas and Caribbean for an ideal location that would enable us to create new experiences, while celebrating the culture of this amazing region,” Chapek said.

Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, whose work includes the design of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, has embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of the Bahamas to meet with local artists and cultural experts. Together, they have explored arts and cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.

“The Lighthouse Point site is so beautiful and so full of nature that we want to preserve this and use our designs to call attention to the extraordinary quality of the place itself – a place of natural beauty with a rich and fascinating cultural tradition,” Rohde said. “We will be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the environment that creates this beauty, and we will be working with artists of every kind, much like we did with Aulani in Hawaii, to create a unique destination that is rooted in Bahamian culture and imbued with Disney magic.”

Disney Cruise Line completed its purchase of privately owned Lighthouse Point earlier this year and signed an agreement with the Government of The Bahamas that guides the responsible and sustainable way the site will be developed.

Disney has committed to develop less than 20 percent of the property; employ sustainable building practices, including an open-trestle pier that eliminates the need to dredge a ship channel; establish environmental monitoring programs during construction and operation; and donate more than 190 acres of privately owned land to Government, among other commitments.

Through the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has provided more than $13 million to marine conservation programs around the globe, including several in The Bahamas. Since 2007, Disney has been directly involved in leading a multiyear initiative to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas and will continue to work with leading conservation organizations and communities to protect special places there.

Construction at Lighthouse Point will begin only after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the Government of The Bahamas and public consultation has occurred. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.

Royal Caribbean Launches Relief Effort for Bahamas
The Bahamas has always been more than a destination for Royal Caribbean and our guests.

For more than half a century, we've made many friends and many memories. The Bahamas is also home to more than 500 of our colleagues who work at Perfect Day at CocoCay and the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

So in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, we're rolling up our sleeves to help our friends, and inviting our guests to help.

Royal Caribbean is committing $1 million to Dorian disaster relief, and ITM—our partner in the Holistica joint venture that is developing the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport—is also donating an additional $100,000.

To make sure our donations go where they can do the most good, we are collaborating with the Bahamian government and our non-profit partner, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), and a network of Bahamian charities and other local organizations, including the Bahamas Feeding Network.

We are loading all kinds of goods onto our ships— generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, towels, and more—for direct delivery to the Bahamas. The trained employee volunteers we call the GO Team are on their way to assist with relief efforts. And we're taking special care of coworkers and their families who were affected by the storm.

And we're matching every dollar of guest and employee donations to PADF so they can help our friends as well.

We can't make every bad memory of Dorian go away. But we can start making things better—today. If you want to contribute please click this LINK and get started.

Disney to Donate Over $1 Million to Bahamas Relief Efforts
The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian, according to a press release.

“The Walt Disney Company stands with the people of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”

Disney’s commitment includes a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies – including food staples and basic construction materials – to those in impacted areas.

Additionally, Disney employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of The Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Disney Castaway Cay, which experienced only tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

“The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,” Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line said. “We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members.”

Carnival Cruise Line Statement Supporting the Bahamas
Carnival Cruise Line, together with Carnival Corporation, today pledged its support to the government and people of The Bahamas as they assess the damage from Hurricane Dorian and begin recovery efforts.

“Our hearts go out to our Bahamian family at this difficult time. We have been in close communication with government officials throughout the weekend and stand ready to provide humanitarian and economic assistance,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our focus will be on the priorities as established by government and emergency relief officials.”

Duffy said Carnival remains fully committed to its announced Grand Bahama port development project, which will be an important part of rebuilding the island of Grand Bahama. She also said that Carnival ships will be calling on all of its Bahamian ports, including both Nassau and Freeport, just as soon as they are ready to receive guests. Carnival is also assessing how to help the Grand Bahama shipyard and its employees, as well as our tour operators who support travel and tourism.

Viking Will Attempt To Set Guinness World Record With Ultimate World Cruise
Tomorrow, Viking guests will embark on the new Ultimate World Cruise itinerary, a 245-day journey spanning six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports. Sailing from London on Viking's award-winning 930-guest Viking Sun, the longest-ever continuous cruise will fully circumnavigate the globe bringing guests to some of the world's most legendary cities, iconic landmarks and far-flung destinations, before returning to London in May 2020. In beginning this journey, Viking will attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the "longest continuous passenger cruise;" upon the return of Viking Sun to London next year, an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORD Adjudicator will confirm the successful attempt with a certificate presentation.

"For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travelers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries. I am pleased to offer such a unique experience for our guests."

Viking's Ultimate World Cruise offers an eight-month journey, allowing guests to explore Scandinavia, the Caribbean and destinations throughout South America before calling on the remote tropical islands of the South Pacific. Viking Sun will then continue its journey along the coast of Australia and through Asia before returning to the Mediterranean and Europe.

Like all Viking itineraries, Ultimate World Cruise guests will enjoy an included excursion in each port of call and free unlimited Wi-Fi; they also receive Business Class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value inclusions in their cruise fare. The Viking Way of exploration offers additional, optional excursions that provide insight into Local Life, Working World and offer Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Overnight stays in 23 cities allow guests to delve deeper into destinations; and Viking's Culture Curriculum offers additional enrichment on board with regional entertainment and lectures, as well as learning opportunities as part of the Viking Resident Historian program. Full details on the Ultimate World Cruise can be found on Viking's website here; highlights include:

• Greenwich: London at Your Door – Dock in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, which allows guests easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

• Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Peak of Brazilian Culture – One of the 23 overnight stays on this itinerary occurs in the historic city of Rio de Janeiro, where guests can witness the larger-than-life Christ the Redeemer statue or relax on the scenic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches of this coastal metropolis.

• Ushuaia, Argentina: "End of the World" – Commonly referred to as the "End of the World," guests will visit Ushuaia, a city perched on a steep hill on the southernmost tip of South America, and explore its lush scenery through excursions to the nearby Escondido and Fagnano Lakes or the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which was first inhabited by humans 10,000 years ago.

• Hobart, Tasmania: An Island of History and Wilderness – The capitol of Australia's island state of Tasmania, Hobart offers guests the chance to learn about its aborigine history and explore its unique wilderness area, including Mt. Wellington, which the city is nestled under.

• Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Vibrant Saigon – This eclectic city, home to a mix of modern skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and ornate palaces, offers a variety of experiences for guests, including the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace.

• Mumbai, India: The Front Door to India – The bustling city of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the busy metropolis.

• Luxor, Egypt: Temples and Tombs – The site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor is dense with historical monuments for guests to explore, including the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, which house the tombs of the Pharaohs and their wives.

Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities whether on the rivers or at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore, on board, and even at home, through premier partnerships such as National Geographic, PBS' MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and the upcoming new film Downton Abbey from Focus Features and Carnival Films, only in theaters this September. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes "making of" experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as a behind-the-scenes tours at Highclere Castle, the "real Downton Abbey;" visiting St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum "behind closed doors;" a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; an intimate organ concert in the Berlin Cathedral; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.08 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 104.28 + 1.75%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.75 + 2.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Cunard's Queen Mary departed New York for Europe in July of 1943 she carried a record number of passengers and crew - the most of any passenger vessel in war or peace. How many people did she carry on that historic voyage? (note: the closest answer wins this week's contest)

Answer - The Queen Mary set a record on July 25th 1943 sailing from New York to Gourock with 15.740 passengers and a crew of 943 totalling 16.683
courtesy of liberte50 (at) wtal.de


Cruise News - August 26, 2019

Celebrity Apex Defines The Peak European Experience
With Celebrity Cruises' 2020 Europe season poised to be the line's most "revolutionary" yet, today the brand unveiled four new longer European sailings on board its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the brand's innovative Edge Series.

"Like her industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge – which was just named one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places1 – Celebrity Apex will feature an innovative outward-facing design and transformational accommodations that invite guests to take in the breathtaking world around them," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Now, with these four new and longer Mediterranean sailings, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the peak European experience in true Celebrity style."

Among the new sailings on board Celebrity Apex are three 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings and a new 11-night Western Mediterranean sailing. The two 11-night Greece, Malta and Turkey sailings will depart from Rome, Italy, visiting Istanbul, Turkey; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Barcelona, Spain; while on the 10-night Greece, Malta and Turkey cruise, guests will be immersed in eight beautiful ports, including Barcelona, Spain; Crete, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy; and Rome, Italy. The one-of-a-kind 11-night Spain, France and Italian Riviera expedition will sail round-trip out of Barcelona, Spain, calling Provence (Marseille), France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France; Santa Margherita, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.

From impeccable accommodations, including Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas and two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, to 29 world-class culinary venues, Celebrity Apex has it all. Following the ship's Southampton debut, Celebrity Apex will offer a mini season of five sailings to European destinations, including the Norwegian Fjords and the northern coasts of Spain and Portugal. Aboard the game-changing new vessel travelers can experience a new 10-night Capital Cities Cruise with visits to iconic cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris.

After Celebrity Apex's Northern Europe mini season, she'll spend the rest of her inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, with visits to bucket-list destinations such as Lisbon, Portugal; Istanbul; Monte Carlo; Cannes, France; and more. Intrigued European explorers are able to book cruises on board Celebrity Apex now. For more details on Celebrity Apex and the exciting new sailings being offered, visit www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-apex.

Joining Celebrity Apex in Europe is her award-winning sister ship, Celebrity Edge, and the newly revolutionized Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Constellation – featuring new staterooms and suites, new public spaces, and new luxurious designs. An exciting addition to the European itineraries is Trieste, Italy, and the first-ever mini season of sailings from Lisbon, that includes overnight stays in this incredible city. Country-immersive sailings are also being introduced that focus on Italy and Greece, designed to give guests an ever greater, in-depth experience. Celebrity will be returning to Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey, and Oslo, Norway, featuring overnight stays in the land of the midnight sun, as well as offering overnight stays in the guest-favorite cities of Dublin, Ireland, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Celebrity's European itineraries will offer incredible choice, with over 90 destinations and 48 overnights, so travelers have more ways to explore Europe like never before, all while sailing on an award-winning fleet of modern luxury ships.

Princess Unveils Summer 2021 Caribbean Cruises
Families seeking top-rated beaches, colorful cultures and ancient ruins can count on Princess Cruises to offer them the ultimate sun-kissed vacation with its summer 2021 season to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

The family-friendly Caribbean Princess will sail all itineraries, providing 16 departures on three itineraries sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, departing May through July 2021. Cruises go on sale September 18, 2019. Caribbean Princess also offers guests the MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, keyless stateroom entry, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate friends and family and more.

Caribbean Princess ranked as one of the best cruise lines in the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (Large Cruise Ship Category) in Cruise Critic's fourth annual Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards. Here are a few top reasons to experience the Caribbean with Princess Cruises:

Itineraries to Celebrate
Discover the many regions of the Caribbean, from the sun-drenched beaches in the Eastern Caribbean to the mysterious Mayan ruins in the Western Caribbean. Guests can choose from seven-day Eastern or Western itineraries, or longer 14-day itineraries providing a blend of both regions. Options include:

Eastern Caribbean – Seven-day cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Kitts depart June 5, 19, July 3, 17 2021. Guests can expect to see world famous beaches, while participating in water activities suited for guests of all ages.

Western Caribbean – Seven-day cruise sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel depart May 29, June 12, 26, July 10, 2021. Passengers will have the opportunity to learn about the Mayan Ruins, while immersing themselves in the rich culture of the Caribbean.

Eastern and Western Caribbean – 14-day cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Princess Cays, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Ft. Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Belize City and Cozumel depart May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10 2021. These itineraries combine the best of the Eastern and Western Caribbean offering picturesque beaches to historical ruins.

Authentic Immersion

Families discover island life, taste new foods and dance to local melodies, with Princess Cruises onboard program Rhythm of the Caribbean. Offerings include concerts, crafts, Parrots in the Piazza and enthralling presentations by shark experts, treasure hunters and more. The cuisine includes a diverse fusion of flavors drawn from the Caribbean's coast, including dishes like Jamaican jerk chicken, red snapper and Creole black mussels.

Spend Time with the Family The Caribbean is the perfect destination for families to enjoy adventures such as swimming with stingrays, snorkeling around a shipwreck and ziplining through the jungle. On board, they can play steel drums, explore Discovery at SEA activities for all ages, watch a blockbuster on Movies Under the Stars or enjoy time in the sun or shade at The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone.

Explore More

Parents can choose to immerse their kids in amazing destinations with in-depth excursions for every interest. Only Princess Cruises offers Discovery and Animal Planet tours that the whole family will love including shore excursions to UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Belize Barrier Reef and Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts. With "More Ashore" late night stays in St. Thomas and Cozumel, guests can enjoy beautiful sunsets, island life and evening tours.

Princess Cruises' private island, Princess Cays, is an oasis for all kinds of adventures from relaxing on white-sand beaches and unwinding in a private cabana to swimming with stingrays and enjoying water sports. Plus, the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, is also available on Princess Cays so guests can stay connected and share their vacations memories with ease.

Freedom of the Seas Sceheduled for $116 Million Refit
A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping in the Southern Caribbean, following a $116 million amplification. Royal Caribbean International has announced the high-energy features and guest favorites that will come aboard, including The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces. Starting March 2020, the newly amplified Freedom will set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico on 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises to idyllic destinations, from Saint Lucia and Antigua to the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

All-day Thrills on Deck
Vacationers can up the ante with more ways to play joining fan favorites like the FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf and the rock-climbing wall.

• The Perfect Storm, the heart-pumping duo of racer waterslides, is three stories of adventure that will take excitement off the charts. On Cyclone and Typhoon, guests are in for the ultimate race as they go head to head through twists and turns for bragging rights

• A reimagined poolscape comes to life with all-day Caribbean vibes, a larger variety of seating and shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks, and the Splashaway Bay aquapark for the youngest travelers. For downtime, guests can escape to the renewed, adults-only Solarium

• The Lime & Coconut, Royal Caribbean's new, poolside signature bar, is at the center of it all. The three-level spot serves up live music, a lineup of cocktails and a rooftop deck for a bird's eye view of the action

Next-level Culinary Delights
Freedom's amplification will also introduce more dining venues, spanning Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine, tantalizing guests' taste buds more than ever.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen is a fresh, new twist on a guest favorite. Vacationers can have their pick from authentic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair, including made-to-order pizzas hand tossed front and center, and baked in the new, in-house pizza oven. With a wide selection of wines and limoncellos on the reimagined menu, it's "Sunday supper" Royal Caribbean style

• Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, the Asian-inspired restaurant with teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar, features a variety of hot and cold appetizers, entrees, desserts and more

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, where everybody wins. Guests can catch their home team on more than 80 TV screens, hit "play" on any one of the arcade games, and refuel with a menu of classic bar bites and ice-cold brews on tap

• El Loco Fresh will sit poolside and offer fresh grab-and-go Mexican fare, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas, along with an array of salsas for an extra kick. For the first time, the venue will include a full-service bar with a selection of tequilas on offer

Playtime Reimagined
Adding to the roster of activities on board, Royal Caribbean will offer glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure Clash for the Crystal City, and the debut of a floor-to-ceiling redesign of Freedom's dedicated teens spaces and award-winning Adventure Ocean.

• Adventure Ocean takes on a whole new look after a makeover that will touch every inch of the spaces specially designed for babies and kids. The imaginative layout encourages young vacationers to venture into a world of interactive experiences, from thought-provoking exploration at Play Place to art, science and tech activities at Workshop, and friendly challenges at Arena. Kicking back is just as fun with gaming consoles and places to chill at Hangout. Babies and 3- to 5-year-olds will each have personalized areas with AO Babies and AO Junior

• Teens will rejoice at their exclusive hangout, entirely transformed to feature the latest in movies, gaming and music, plus a new, private outdoor deck

Beginning March 8, 2020, the reimagined Freedom will sail 7-night, roundtrip Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. The year-round itineraries are set to visit tropical locales in the region, including Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint Johns, Antigua; and Kralendijk, Bonaire. For more details on the new, bold Freedom of the Seas, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.

Freedom joins her sister, Independence of the Seas, as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. An investment of more than $1 billion across 10 ships in four years, Royal Caribbean's program touches every facet of the guest experience and introduces a wide range of new adventures spanning one-of-a-kind attractions and experiential dining and nightlife.

AIDA Cruises Partners with Corvus Energy to Introduce Use of Battery Power in Cruising
Carnival Corporation today announced that its popular German brand AIDA Cruises has signed an agreement with Corvus Energy, the world's leading marine battery supplier. The agreement, signed August 20, is another significant step in Carnival Corporation's leadership in environmentally friendly ship design and operations.

The installation and operation of lithium-ion battery storage systems onboard the AIDA Cruises fleet begins with the electrification of the first AIDA ship in 2020. The goal of the partnership is to – for the first time – allow for the practical use of electrical energy from battery storage systems onboard large cruise ships.

AIDA's pilot program in electrification will test the system's use of stored battery power for emission-free ship operation for an extended period as well as to meet onboard energy needs. Following the pilot electrification program aboard an AIDA vessel, the effort will expand to Carnival Corporation's popular Italian brand, Costa Cruises.

Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said of the partnership, "Our goal is to reach emission-neutral ship operation. The electrification of our ships is another important step on this path. Thanks to the cooperation with Corvus Energy, in just a few months AIDA Cruises will for the first time launch this innovative technology on a large cruise ship."

One of the most renowned suppliers of marine batteries, Norwegian-Canadian company Corvus Energy is a pioneer in the development of maritime energy storage systems. The introduction of battery power to ships is the latest in a series of innovations that supports Carnival Corporation's "green cruising" strategy, which includes the introduction of new technologies, approaches and investments in sustainable cruising.

In December 2018, AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world's first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major achievement in green cruising that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

In total, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order, including Costa Smeralda, which will be the second of the corporation's ships to be powered by LNG when it joins the Costa Cruises fleet in October.

The company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

AIDA Cruises' newest ship, AIDAnova, was recently named the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the Blue Angel certification by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment for its environmentally friendly ship design. Since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises has "cold ironing" or shore power capabilities, which allow for connecting directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available. With "cold ironing," the air emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port. By the end of 2020, 12 of AIDA's 14 ships will be able to use shore power where available.

In addition, AIDA is also exploring the use of CO2-free production of liquefied gas from renewable sources through its "Power to Gas" project. The brand also plans to test its first onboard fuel cell in 2021, in cooperation with the Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners. By the end of 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will travel on ships that can be fully powered by low-emission LNG or shore power where possible.

Princess Announces 2021 Cruises and Cruisetours to Canada & New England
Princess Cruises, one of the world's largest international premium cruise lines, announced its 2021 Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour season. Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess, one of the cruise line's newest ships – will bring passengers to destinations rich in history and savory seafood, including unique seaside towns along the east coast. Also offered this season is the opportunity to see the breathtaking landscapes of Greenland, the world's largest island.

Both ships offer the Princess MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate your friends and family and more. Voted #1 Cruise Line for U.S. & Canada by Cruise Critic, the 2021 Canada & New England program goes on sale September 18, 2019, and features 16 departures, visiting 18 destinations on six itineraries ranging in length from seven to 16 days.

Top reasons to experience Canada & New England with Princess Cruises during the July – October 2021 season, include:

Unique Itineraries
Whether it's trekking through colonial history in Boston, surveying quaint towns along the coast, or savoring world-famous Maine lobster, guests experience the popular attractions, as well as the hidden gems on the array of itineraries offered:

• Seven-day Canada & New England on Sky Princess – Roundtrip from NYC visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax. Cruises depart Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021

• 10-day Canada & New England on Caribbean Princess –NYC to Quebec visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown. Cruises depart Sept 1, 21, Oct. 11, 2021

• 10-day Canada & New England on Caribbean Princess – Quebec to NYC visiting Saguenay, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston. Cruises depart Aug. 6, Sept. 11, Oct. 1, 2021.

• 13-day Canada & Colonial America on Caribbean Princess – Ft. Lauderdale to Quebec visiting Charleston, New York City, Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax. Cruise departs July 24, 2021.

• 14-day Canada & Colonial America on Caribbean Princess – Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale visiting Saguenay, Sept Îles, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Charleston. Cruise departs Oct. 21, 2021.

• 16-day Greenland & Canada on Caribbean Princess – Roundtrip NYC visiting Halifax, Sydney, Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Nanortalik, St. John. Cruise departs Aug 16, 2021

One-of-a Kind Excursions
Guests can enjoy a variety of in-depth shore excursions from an authentic lobster bake to exploring historical landmarks like the Boston Commons, the Massachusetts State House, King's Chapel and the Old South Meeting House, to name a few. Plus, they can also choose from the cruise line's award-winning Discovery and Animal Planet tours.

The Cruise Choice for Food Lovers
From culinary creations by award-winning Chef Curtis Stone to local specialties like New England crab, cold-water lobster and craft cocktails like the Boston Cream Pie Martini, guests will experience the local flavors in a whole new way.

More Time to Explore Ashore
The cruise line's "More Ashore" late night port calls (departing at 9pm or later) lets guests explore Boston or Charleston at their own pace with plenty of time to return to the ship. With overnight stays in Quebec on select sailings, plenty of time is available to sample the scenic streets of this iconic city.

In-Depth Cruisetours
Princess Cruises makes it effortless to combine cruises with multi-day land tours to historic places including:

• Historic America Cruisetour - takes guests to such important places as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg Battlefield.

• The Maple Explorer Cruisetour - brings guests to beautiful Niagara Falls; exciting cities like the capital of Ottawa and French-flavored Montreal with guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.48 - 4.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 102.49 - 4.89%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.48 - 3.64%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Cunard's Queen Mary departed New York for Europe in July of 1943 she carried a record number of passengers and crew - the most of any passenger vessel in war or peace. How many people did she carry on that historic voyage? (note: the closest answer wins this week's contest)

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - The "Queen of Bermuda" is the only liner/cruise ship ever to have had 3, 2, or even 1 funnel during her service. She was built with 3 funnels in the 1930s, during WW II she has 2 funnels, after the war she was refitted with 3 funnels, and, during the early 1960s she was refitted with 1 funnel during a modernization in order to make her appear more like her newer sister ship "Ocean Monarch". Larry Macdonald, Belmont MA USA
courtesy of Lary P. McDonald


Cruise News - August 19, 2019

Norwegian Encore Floated Out
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that its latest ship, Norwegian Encore, successfully completed a major construction milestone, when it emerged for the first time from the Meyer Werft ship building dock in Papenburg, Germany.

Norwegian Encore will remain in the shipyard port for the final phase of construction, before her conveyance up the Ems River and towards the North Sea at the end of September. At nearly 1,100 feet long, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of 3,998, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019. She will be christened in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019 and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“To see the ship emerge from the shipyard is always one of the most exciting construction milestones,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our partners at Meyer Werft have been committed to our vision for not only Norwegian Encore, but for this industry leading class of ships, supporting our dedication to delivering our guests the best cruise vacation at sea.”

Taking the brand’s exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world’s longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company’s history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, “Kinky Boots” will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites “The Choir of Man,” “Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical” and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020; and in the spring of 2021 will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Carnival Panorama Nearing Completion
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, is entering the final stages of construction with interior and exterior outfitting being completed and crew members beginning to arrive at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy in preparation for its repositioning to southern California and her Dec. 11, 2019 inaugural voyage. The third in the highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Panorama will be the line’s first new ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years.

Spaces like the multi-level atrium with a stunning Dreamscape LED display, the Choose Fun-themed WaterWorks aqua park and tropics-inspired Havana section are nearly completed. Carnival Panorama will also be the first cruise ship to offer a Sky Zone trampoline park.

Led by Housekeeping Managers Sasa Jovanovic and Clayton Clarence, the ship’s housekeeping team is already on site ready for the loading of stateroom amenities, including nearly 6,000 mattresses, 13,000 pillows, 43,000 sheets and 100,000 towels.

Carnival Panorama is scheduled to enter service Dec. 11 with a three-day inaugural voyage to Ensenada followed by the launch of year-round seven-day cruises featuring popular Mexican Riviera ports including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas beginning Dec. 14, 2019.

Cunard Sets Scene for New Feature Film
This week, August 18-24, Cunard's luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2 will provide the setting for a new film by Oscar winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh ("Oceans 11," "Traffic" and "Behind the Candelabra") with an Oscar and Emmy award-winning cast and crew.

The movie, "Let Them All Talk" (a working title) is being filmed on Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 on her iconic seven-day Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. HBO Max has acquired rights to the film and stars Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Gemma Chan, Lucas Hedges and Dianne Wiest. Gregory Jacobs is producing, with Ken Meyer and Joseph Malloch executive producing.

For onboard movie buffs, Queen Mary 2 guests will have the exciting opportunity to appear in the film as extras.

"It's thrilling to have Steven Soderbergh and his stellar cast filming their new movie on our flagship Queen Mary 2," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Our guests will have a rare opportunity to be part of a major Hollywood feature film, and join Cunard's rich legacy with the entertainment industry."

Cunard has a long history of hosting stars of stage and screen onboard their iconic ships. Luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Wes Anderson, and Tilda Swinton have all sailed with the line. Sting performed a set in Queen Mary 2's Royal Court Theatre; Ed Sheeran wrote part of his last album on a Crossing; and Francis Ford Coppola sailed recently to work on his book while at sea. In December 2017, Queen Mary 2 hosted the first ever major movie premiere with the star-studded event for 20th Century Fox's "The Greatest Showman" starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya.

New Production Show "Rock Opera," debuting onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises announced today its newest production show, Rock Opera. Debuting onboard Sky Princess (December 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), this one-of-a-kind production will feature incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. It will be brought to life by special guest tenor and America's Got Talent Alum Brian Justin Crum.

Rock Opera was created exclusively for Princess Cruises by Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson, Musical Arranger Nelson Kole, Scenic Designer John Lacovelli and Costume Designer Jackson Lowell.

"Rock Opera takes our guests on a musical journey, featuring our 8-piece live orchestra playing iconic rock songs. Our production and costume design team were inspired by one of New York City's most glamorous evenings of the year, the Met Gala," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises' vice president of entertainment experience. "Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess guests should anticipate an unforgettable evening of music that transcends language and celebrates the diversity of our crew and guests from around the world. Rock Opera features songs in English, Spanish, Latin and a Princess first – sign language."

World-Class Rock Tenor Brian Justin Crum, of America's Got Talent: The Champions, will join the talented singers, dancers and musicians for the inaugural season of Sky Princess.

A native of San Diego, California, Crum brings his pure vocal tone, broad range and high contrast emotional delivery that found him success in the world of musical theater and on the Billboard charts. He's performed with several Broadway companies before launching a pop career with credits including Wicked, Grease, Next to Normal and touring companies of The Addams Family and We Will Rock You. He found a broader audience in 2016 as a finalist on NBC's America's Got Talent, finishing in fourth place. That same year, he released Show Me Love, which made its way to the top of the Billboard Dance Charts.

Rock Opera's creative team includes:

Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson – choreographed for Grammy Award-winning artists Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Paula Abdul and Brit Award winners Robbie Williams and Tom Jones, with whom he won the VH1 Best Video Award for Sex Bomb. Teeson has acted as Carrie Underwood's creative director, conceptualizing and directing her Carnival Ride Tour, ACM Awards performance and was seen on Oxygen Networks hit show Dance Your Ass Off as a resident judge. Teeson also created and choreographed the award-winning show for Princess Cruises - Fantastic Journey which won a Themed Entertainment Association award for Outstanding Achievement.

Musical Arranger Nelson Kole – began his career on the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and the Pips and soon became musical director/arranger for Don Rickles and Ben Vereen. As arranger and musical director of the 2009 Academy Awards, Kole worked with Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Queen Latifah.

Scenic Designer John Lacovelli – won the Emmy Award for his production design of the A&E presentation of Peter Pan, staring Cathy Rigby, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival. His television production design credits include The Old Settler, The Gin Game, Ed, Babylon and Resurrection Blvd. He's received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for Lifetime Achievement in Scenic Design and is a member of The Art Directors Guild.

Costume Designer Jackson Lowell – has designed costumes for many celebrities and concert tours including Katy Perry, Pink, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand and Usher. His television show credits include American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Better, Lost, Private Practice and Scrubs. Lowell has also designed for many notable dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Company, Paul Taylor, San Francisco Ballet, Twyla Tharp, Oakland Dance Company and Philadanco.

Seabourn Launche Seabourn Private Air
Seabourn announced this week the launch of an exciting new offering for guests headed for the most memorable journeys on the seas. Introducing Seabourn Private Air, a new private chartered jet service available for exclusive transportation to-and-from ports of call, and for mid-voyage overland options for Seabourn cruises all over the world, with bookings opening August 15.

Designed for guests who prefer the luxuries and conveniences of private jet travel to those offered by commercial carriers, Seabourn Private Air utilizes a global network of operators who adhere to the highest international and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standards, and who appreciate what it means to provide exceptional service with a fleet of private jets that include a range of sizes and models. The Seabourn Private Air service will be able to accommodate groups of any size upon request, with available aircraft including light charter jets capable of carrying 5-8 passengers; mid-size jets sized for 7-8 passengers; and heavy private jets with capacity for 9-16 passengers. Pricing will vary by itinerary and aircraft.

"Time is an incredible luxury and as an ultra-luxury travel operator for three decades, we are always seeking new ways to enhance our guest experience. Seabourn Private Air will provide a world of comforts and conveniences for Seabourn guests en route to or from their cruise of a lifetime," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales.

Unlike many jet card or fractional options on the market today, Seabourn Private Air is designed to provide a guest up front, comprehensive pricing* for the private jet package, which is a similar standard to the Seabourn cruise itself where all dining venues are complimentary, as are selections of fine wines and premium spirits. Guests pay for the aircraft rather than by the seat, so the more passengers onboard, the lower the cost per person. The cost of the Private Air package is offered in addition to the cruise fare.

Amenities and services of the comprehensive Seabourn Private Air package include:

• Access to thousands of airports, large and small, that serve private aviation, as well as to most major international airports

• WiFi internet capability

• Private Valet luggage service

• Seabourn-standard catering options

• Seabourn-brand food & beverages on every flight, including Regiis Ova caviar, K+M Chocolates, Montaudon champagne, and a range of complementary spirits

• Amenities by Seabourn's signature fragrance partner, Molton Brown

• Complimentary transfers to-and-from home to the nearest airport and onward to Seabourn's cruise port**

• Cabin attendants, required on some aircraft, or available upon request*** if not required by aircraft

• Next port protection up to 1,000 miles from original destination.

*Private Air fares are separate from the cruise fare **Mileage limitations apply ***For an additional charge

Regardless of the jet type or passenger capacity, every aircraft offered through Seabourn Private Air will include a variety of conveniences and comforts in keeping with Seabourn standards. And, just like those enjoyed by Seabourn guests at sea, all of the above are included in the flight cost.

Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and Sahara Forest Join Forces for Sustainable Farming in Desert of Jordan
Carnival Corporation today announced that its Costa Crociere Foundation has joined forces with the Sahara Forest Project Foundation to enlarge an innovative initiative to re-vegetate the desert in Jordan with sustainable technologies. The partnership became official August 12 during a signing ceremony with Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and Lars Myren, chairman of the Sahara Forest Project Foundation, onboard the historic sailing ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl at Arendalsuka in Norway.

The mission of the Sahara Forest Project – inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in September 2017 – is to vegetate desert areas and create local green jobs through production of food, freshwater and clean energy, using saltwater and sunlight as the main input factors.

The partnership between Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and the Sahara Forest Project Foundation represents a concrete step forward for the project in Jordan.

The support from Costa Group – through its two brands, Italy-based Costa Cruises and Germany-based AIDA Cruises – will allow the project to scale up to 20 hectares of commercial facility, with every vegetable produced removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in re-vegetated land. This initiative aligns with Costa Group's commitment to sustainable innovation and value creation, as well as with the Costa Crociere Foundation's mission to promote social and environmental improvement.

An important part of the agreement is represented by the involvement of guests sailing with Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. Guests cruising on Costa and AIDA ships calling at Aqaba will have the unique chance to taste, for the very first time, at least 10 different environmentally friendly vegetables produced by using solar power and saltwater in the Jordan desert, through special recipes created by the executive chefs of the two cruise companies to emphasize their taste and quality.

"The Sahara Forest Project is proud to join forces with a global leader within the tourism industry," said Myren of the Sahara Forest Project. "The new long-term agreement for the supply of vegetables to Costa and AIDA ships will pave the way for an expansion of our project in Jordan, while raising international awareness for the need to scale up innovative solutions to combat global warming and create local jobs in desert areas. In 2050 there will be almost 10 billion people on the planet who will need sustainably produced food, fresh water and clean energy. It is urgent to prove that it is possible to shift away from current agricultural practices traditionally using 80% of scarce freshwater resources and contributing to 25% of CO2 emissions in many dry countries and scale up concepts that are good for the environment, social development and business."

"We are proud to support this groundbreaking project that represents a model for future sustainable farming in desert areas," added Costa Group's Thamm. "By supporting the Sahara Forest Project, we serve our guests vegetables grown in a way that fights the spread of deserts and creates a sound livelihood for the local population, in line with our sustainable development strategy and our concrete commitment to creating a greener planet. Costa Group is leading the cruise industry when it comes to sustainability, as demonstrated by the introduction of the first-ever LNG-powered cruise ship less than a year ago and by the significant investments in shore power and innovative technologies for a zero-emission future."

Currently, the Sahara Forest Project operates a three-hectare commercial size facility 12 kilometers north of the Jordanian port of Aqaba, combining saltwater-cooled greenhouses, solar energy panels and different techniques for outdoor re-vegetation in dry areas. The governments of Jordan and Norway, the European Union Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been crucial in financing and supporting the unique facility.

From October 2019 to October 2020, four Costa ships (Costa Mediterranea, Costa Victoria, Costa Diadema and Costa Deliziosa) and four AIDA ships (AIDAvita, AIDAbella, AIDAprima and AIDAblu) will be visiting Aqaba, for a total of 20 calls, bringing more than 45,000 guests.

Princess Cruises 10th Annual Relaxation Report Finds Most of the World Still Not Getting Enough Sleep
One of the world's largest international premium cruise lines, Princess Cruises, in collaboration with Wakefield Research, today revealed the findings of its 10th Annual Relaxation survey. With ten years of data analyzing the sleep and vacation habits of adults, this year's survey reinforces the stress and lack of relaxation experienced by adults globally. Results from the survey show more than half of those surveyed are getting less sleep than they need (52%) – a decrease of one percent from last year.

Taking time off is one of the ways for adults to relax and de-stress. The survey found that over half of those surveyed (58%) took all of the vacation days available to them in the last year. At 68%, UK respondents were the best at taking all of their vacation days, while Australians came in last at 43%. Just ahead of Australia and Indonesia (52%), 54% of Americans reported utilizing all of their time off. However, when using their vacation days, 81% of those who are employed take days off to catch up on sleep – an increase of four percent.

Princess Cruises is committed to ensuring its guests come back from vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. As part of its Come Back New Promise, and commitment to inspire vacations Princess Cruises partnered with board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus to develop the Princess Luxury Bed offering guests the ultimate night of sleep at sea.

"Sleep allows our bodies to recharge and recover from mental and physical strains, which is important for overall health. Year over year, we continue to see how the lack of sleep negatively impacts people around the globe," said Dr. Breus. "As people continue to take less vacation time, we know it's more important than ever for people to maximize their time off. I'm proud to collaborate with Princess Cruises, one of the best known names in relaxation, to offer passengers the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed for them to lay their heads on at night."

Rewards of Relaxation

• Commitment to Relax – An overwhelming majority of adults (85%) set aside time specifically dedicated for relaxation on a weekly or more basis, increasing slightly from 84% in 2018.

• Good Practice – Regular relaxation can become a way of life. More than 3 in 5 (61%) of those who set time aside every week to relax used all of their paid time off, compared to 40% of those who did not make time to relax every week.

Relaxation Among Couples and Families

• Worn Out – Working parents (53%) are more likely than non-parents (41%) to take a week or more off every year to catch up on sleep.

• Maxing Out – Working people who are married or in a relationship (63%) were more likely to have used all of their paid time off in the last year, compared to those who are not married or in a relationship (46%).

Some Global Comparisons

The Most Sleep Deprived Countries – Findings show that US adults are getting more sleep than last year. However, in the UK, adults are getting less sleep compared to 2018.

• UK: 66% versus 63% last year

• Singapore: 61% versus 62%

• Australia: 59% versus 61%

• U.S.: 53% versus 58%

• China: 51% versus 53%

• Mexico: 44%

• Vietnam: 37% versus 38% I

• ndonesia: 35% versus 34%

Days Taken off by Country per Year (on average) to Catch Up on Sleep

• Vietnam – 10 days

• China – 10 days

• Mexico – 10 days

• Indonesia – 9 days

• Singapore – 8 days

• Australia – 7 days

• U.S. – 7 days

• United Kingdom - 4 days

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.74 + 0.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.76 + 0.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 1.04%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.35 + 3.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - The answer is Fort Lauderdale and I have attach two pictures I took when I visited her there in the summer of 1970 (Editor's Note: Thanks to Peter for sharing his photos of Queen Elizabeth in Florida - photo #1, photo #2.
courtesy of Peter Stafford


Cruise News - August 12, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Brings Celebrity Constellation To Tampa
A revolutionary ship is coming to Port Tampa Bay, as Celebrity Cruises unveils a brand new homeport, expanding the brand's global vacation offerings with the redeployment of Celebrity Constellation. The newly "revolutionized" ship will offer guests more island time than ever before, with three unique alternating 10- and 11-night roundtrip sailings for the winter 2020 season.

"Our guests and travel advisors have been asking us to return to Tampa since our last call there in 2007," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "While 'Celebrity Cruises' fleet is undergoing a massive modernization with THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, the beautiful City of Tampa is also experiencing quite a renaissance. How fitting for our evolving brand to return to an evolving city with a completely 'revolutionized' ship?'"

Recent construction and development in Tampa Bay aims to create a truly dynamic, urban lifestyle for workers, residents and visitors alike. The city's downtown waterfront is currently being transformed through the $3 billion Water Street project. The 50-acre district will feature retail, offices, homes, hotels, culture and education. Transformation of Tampa's urban core was enhanced by the completion of the Tampa Riverwalk, an area now seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investments. In addition, historic Ybor's City's revitalization further adds to Tampa's uniqueness as a robust and desirable world-class destination.

"We are very excited to welcome Celebrity Cruises to the Tampa Bay market. In 2020 Celebrity Cruises will offer a variety of itineraries from Tampa that will include stops at exotic locations in southern and eastern Caribbean. The addition of this premium brand to the explosive growth that Tampa Bay is experiencing will add an extraordinary adventure to the many choices vacationers have in Tampa Bay," said Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson.

Following a leisurely 14-night Transatlantic crossing out of Barcelona, Celebrity Constellation will begin offering guests three unique itineraries, including a 10-night Eastern Caribbean escape, calling San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Samana, Dominican Republic; an 11-night Southern Caribbean trek with visits to Key West, Florida; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and George Town, Grand Cayman; as well as a brand new 11-night "Touch Canal" itinerary, sailing to Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; the Panama Canal; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

Celebrity Constellation is currently scheduled to undergo its "revolutionary" modernization in May 2020 as part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, Celebrity's $500 million investment in ship-wide upgrades and breathtaking reimagined spaces, taking the brand's fleet to the Edge.

Windstar Cruises Presents 'Star Grill by Steven Raichlen'
Windstar Cruises continues to perfect its culinary program with the announcement of a new modern, casual outdoor restaurant in partnership with global grilling authority Steven Raichlen. Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, currently in development, will be a modern, casual, al fresco restaurant that serves up grilled, smoked and rotisserie specialties, including seafood, meats and vegetables cooked with global flavors and techniques, alongside craft side dishes and sauces.

Windstar's alliance with Steven Raichlen was born from a desire to create a modern, yet casual outdoor eatery, bespoke of Windstar's "180 degrees from ordinary" tagline, an inviting escape where guests will enjoy inventive, modern cuisine, while embracing the al fresco ambiance and casually intimate experiences of small ship dining after a busy day discovering distant ports of call.

Windstar's culinary team and Steven Raichlen have been working in collaboration to develop the ideal al fresco dining experience, crafting food and beverage menus that will be one-of-a-kind in the cruise and restaurant industries. In 2020, Windstar cruise guests will have the opportunity to taste firsthand where Raichlen's fascination with global grilling takes him and Windstar guests.

Steven Raichlen explains, "I've spent my life traveling the world's barbecue trail to bring my readers and viewers the ultimate in global grilling. What better way to share my discoveries than on a Windstar cruise ship bound for new adventures."

"We're delighted to be working hand-in-hand with someone of Steven's culinary caliber," comments Windstar President John Delaney. "Our new partnership is a wonderful alliance that will provide our guests with an inviting new place to dine that is entirely suited to Windstar's casually elegant style of cruising. We are on course to make Windstar the undisputed culinary innovator in small ship cruising, and the inventive nature of Steven's cuisine will be a key part of that leadership."

International TV host and author of 31 books, Raichlen is considered the man who reinvented modern barbecue. His most recent television series, Project Fire 2019, debuted this July on PBS, and his latest book, The Brisket Chronicles, was released to critical acclaim in May. Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2015, and his books have won multiple James Beard Awards and IACP Julia Child Awards. Raichlen is the founder of Barbecue University and has lectured on the history of barbecue at institutions as diverse as Harvard, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian.

Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will first debut on Windstar's award-winning small ship Star Breeze in February 2020 and then on her sister ships Star Legend in July 2020 and Star Pride in November 2020, all part of the line's $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.

At Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, guests will enjoy seafood, lamb, beef and more from the grill, smoker, and slow-roasted on the rotisserie, along with innovative sauces. The top-deck, al fresco restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner service and will feature menu items such as Danish smoked shrimp, lemongrass pork skewers, and Hill Country brisket — or on sea days, enjoy a mid-morning Frühschoppen with artisanal grilled sausage and pretzel rolls.

Located just steps away from Star Bar, the ship's popular open ocean-view top-deck bar, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will feature deck-side dining with seating for 95, two carving stations, a selection of mouthwatering dishes with a modern twist, and refreshments enjoyed in a relaxed, al fresco bar-restaurant area with dining tables starboard and lounge seating portside; all served with a sea view.

Diners relaxing poolside during the day, or enjoying a casual evening meal after touring ashore, may enjoy select local/regional beers, along with flights to offer guests a selection to taste and compliment the cuisine. In addition to a selection of beer and wine, the restaurant will feature cocktails specially-designed for the venue with a breezy summertime vibe, like a Strawberry Pimm's, Pineapple & Coconut Slushy, Raspberry & Melon Slushy, and Strawberry + Basil Smash; all served from the nearby Star Bar.

In addition to the new restaurant partnership, Raichlen will sail aboard one culinary-themed cruise each year with Windstar Cruises, leading grill demonstrations and lectures, as well as socializing with guests on board the small ships, catering exclusively to fewer than 350 guests.

Windstar's newest restaurant concept and the creation of this dining space is part of Windstar's $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, and will be available in 2020 on the line's three, soon-to-be-reimagined Star Class ships. The extensive revitalization of these small cruise ships also features a new eclectic Spanish restaurant from acclaimed chef Anthony Sasso, an enhanced spa and fitness center, new pool and whirlpool, more deck space for lounging, the addition of 50 new suites, and additional upgrades.

Sun Princess Passenger Goes Overboard
A 41-year old female passenger from Taiwan has reportedly died after she was seen jumping over the railing from Princess Cruises Sun Princess during a 5-day cruise from Keelung to Okinawa. The passenger, identified only by her surname Wang was traveling with her mother and aunt on the cruise.

In a statement released by Princess Cruises, the cruise line said Wang was first discovered missing at 6 a.m. Friday Japanese time. The ship's crew quickly launched a full-scale search, and found camera footage of her going over the guardrail on the 11th deck of the ship and falling overboard.

The ship immediately changed course and sent out a rescue team in an attempt to locate Wang. It found the missing woman at 7:13 a.m., the statement said. Wang showed no signs of life after being recovered from the sea before the medical team on board declared her dead, and her body was then stored in a refrigerated storage area on the ship, according to the statement.

The cruise continued its trip after the incident while Wang's two relatives decided to return to Taiwan from Okinawa by air. In the statement, Princess Cruises expressed regret over the incident and thanked the Japanese Coast Guard for its assistance in the search.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils 146 New Voyages for its 2021-2022 Season
Where will you go next?

Travelers will find their answer in Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 2021-2022 Voyage Collection Debut. The luxury ocean cruise line unveiled 146 voyages embarking April 2021 through May 2022 featuring 27 new ports of call, first-time sailings for Seven Seas Splendor in Northern Europe and the Baltics and for Seven Seas Explorer in Alaska, immersive new land programs, remarkable new shore excursions and access to newly announced UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan, Portugal and Italy. Plus, a greater emphasis on Asia includes 10 voyages sailing the region with multiple in-port overnights. Highlights and firsts include:

• 27 maiden ports for Regent across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean

• A record 116 overnight stays

• First sailings to the Black Sea since 2014 with calls on Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine

• A return to Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion in the Indian Ocean

• A scenic journey to Antarctica sailing near Deception Island, Paradise Bay, and Half Moon Island

• Access to more than 350 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

• A unique Asia-Pacific route for Regent's 2022 World Cruise Elements of the Pacific, and Regent's most-ever Asia ports visited across all itineraries

• Three Grand Voyages, including a unique European Tour that combines the best of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean on Regent's newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor

• A digital brochure and video showcase additional details.

"These voyages represent the most stunning and ambitious collection in our company's history. We are sailing to even more legendary and lesser-known destinations highlighted by included immersive land experiences in every port," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Whether searching for an exciting adventure, a new way to unwind or for something entirely different, we invite luxury travelers to find it with Regent and discover their next unrivaled experience, with the highest levels of elegance, comfort and hospitality on board."

27 Maiden Ports of Call

1. Fort Dauphin, Madagascar
2. Pergamum, Turkey
3. Paphos, Cyprus
4. Monemvasia, Greece
5. Igoumenitsa, Greece
6. Chios, Greece
7. Liepaja, Latvia
8. Wismar, Germany
9. Eskifjordur, Iceland
10. Klaksvik, Denmark
11. Rønne, Denmark
12. Dunkerque, France
13. Oban, Scotland
14. Turku, Finland
15. Kaliningrad, Russia
16. Nordfjordeid, Norway
17. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
18. Fortaleza, Brazil
19. Natal, Brazil
20. Nagoya, Japan
21. Naze, Japan
22. Port Arthur, Australia
23. Whangarei, New Zealand
24. Nessebur, Bulgaria
25. Laguna San Rafael, Chile
26. Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
27. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

116 Overnight Stays Include:

St. Petersburg (10 Nights)
Istanbul (8)
Venice (7)
Jerusalem (Haifa) (6)
Bordeaux (6)
Ho Chi Minh City (4)
Osaka (4)
Hong Kong (3)
New York (3)
Buenos Aires (3)
Walvis Bay (3)
Sydney (2)
Bali (Benoa) (2)
Bangkok (Laem habang) (2)
Kyoto (Kobe) (2)
Reykjavik (2)
Dublin (2)
Durban (2)
Richard's Bay (2)
Rio de Janeiro (2)
Constanta (1)
Monte Carlo (1)
Hue/Da Nang (Chan May) (1)
Hanoi (Ha Long Bay) (1)
Port Antonio (1)
Bridgetown (1)
Copenhagen (1)
Abu Dhabi (1)
Mahé, Seychelles (1)
Hobart (Tasmania) (1)
Colombo (1)
Mumbai (1)

27 voyages offer a free Pre- or Post-Cruise Land Program. Program examples include Vibrant Tokyo, Discover Singapore, Sydney Icons, Natural Wonders of New Zealand, Treasures of the U.A.E., Glimpse of Arabia, A Passion for Rio, and Chilean Wonders and Wines.

Highlights by Region of the World

• Africa and Arabia
Explore mighty Africa with roundtrip voyages out of Cape Town, a new port of call in Madagascar and stops along the continent's east coast, from Seychelles to Réunion. Then, witness the marvels of Arabia with new Land Programs like savoring the Culinary Delights of the Ottomans.

• Alaska
Cruise Alaska in the epitome of comfort aboard Seven Seas Explorer, the most luxurious ship sailing the region in 2021. Adventure ashore in Icy Straight Point, exploring the history of the Tlingit culture or capturing moments with the area's abundant wildlife and Discover Denali through one of Regent's immersive Land Programs.

• Asia
Sail into the enchanting cultures of Asia with more voyages to the region than ever before, accompanied by more than 20 overnights and two new ports. Experience new Land Programs like Chengdu & Its Pandas or visit the newly-announced UNESCO World Heritage Site Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan.

• Australia and New Zealand
Witness the grandeur of Australia and New Zealand through adventurous and insightful new Land Programs revealing Sydney Icons and the Natural Wonders of New Zealand, two new ports of call including a visit to the island of Tasmania and by cruising the majestic fjords of New Zealand's South Island.

• Canada, New England and Bermuda
Step back in time more than 200 years through the historic buildings and epic museums found throughout New England and stroll beautiful parks and shores decorated by fall colors. Make the most of overnights in Quèbec City, exploring the wonderful French influences, from classic architectural designs to savory French-Canadian cuisine.

• Caribbean and Panama Canal
Sail from one tropical paradise to another aboard the luxurious Seven Seas Splendor. Savor authentic Jamaican cuisine during an in-port overnight in charming Port Antonio and feel the electricity in the air that comes with the preparations for Carnival when calling on Trinidad and Tobago.

• Mediterranean
Return with Regent to the Black Sea and visit six new Mediterranean ports, from the Ancient City of Nessebur in Bulgaria to the modern, local charms of Igoumenitsa, Greece. Then, tour the newly announced UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal and Italy for a new experience of history.

• Northern Europe
Tour the glory of the Baltic aboard Seven Seas Splendor, soaking in every moment of your journey. Ten new ports await, inviting guests to savor a glass of Scotch in the town it was made, go off the beaten path to a quaint Icelandic fishing village or visit the historic shores of Dunkerque.

• South America
Adventure deep into the Amazon aboard Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner or Seven Seas Voyager and enjoy a Passion for Rio and Chilean Wonders and Wines, two fascinating new Land Programs. Then, board a voyage that offers a scenic cruise of Antarctica aboard Seven Seas Voyager.

Regent fares always include all-suite accommodations, round-trip business-class air on intercontinental flights from U.S. and Canada, ground transfers, the largest collection of unlimited shore excursions, unlimited internet access, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine and specialty restaurants, fine wines and spirits, enrichment speakers and entertainment, gratuities, and one-night, pre-cruise hotel packages for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

Princess Cruises Announces the Addition of MedallionNet to Six More Ships in 2020
Princess Cruises continues its expansion of MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, giving more guests the opportunity to enjoy the fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited Internet service.

In 2020 MedallionNet expands to Grand Princess (February 21), Diamond Princess (March 15), Majestic Princess (April 18), Star Princess (June 12), Enchanted Princess (June 15) and Sapphire Princess (July 27). MedallionNet currently is available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, Coral Princess, Island Princess, Crown Princess and Emerald Princess. Sky Princess (October 12) will be MedallionNet-ready for Europe sailings this fall.

"We continue our commitment to offer the best Internet at sea with the expansion of MedallionNet across the fleet," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Reliable connectivity allows each guest to choose how they want to use the Internet – that could mean staying connected continuously to message friends and family, share their amazing vacation experience, or jumping on and off for personal or professional needs and then promptly returning to vacation mode."

Princess MedallionClass Vacations Launch Dates

MedallionClass Vacations currently are available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, with Crown Princess launching today, and Sky Princess beginning October 12, 2019 when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform. Princess Cruises previously announced the expansion of MedallionClass Vacations to six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20). By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the OceanMedallion wearable device is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Carnival Corporation Names Peter C. Anderson as Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Peter C. Anderson to the newly created position of chief ethics and compliance officer. Based at the company's headquarters in Miami, Anderson will be a member of the executive leadership team and report directly to Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald.

Anderson is a former federal prosecutor with over 20 years of experience in corporate compliance. He had previously been the head of the White Collar and Compliance Group at the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, PC, and was initially engaged by Carnival Corporation to conduct a compliance program assessment. Anderson also led the environmental compliance team on the Volkswagen monitorship over the past two years.

In this new role for Carnival Corporation, Anderson will direct strategy for and drive a culture of compliance and integrity that ensures adherence to legal and statutory requirements and the highest ethical principles. He will also lead the effort to develop new compliance training programs for the company's 120,000 employees around the world and be responsible for making significant contributions to the company's compliance risk management program, including identifying potential areas of risk in operations and implementing risk management plans.

Additionally, Anderson will oversee Operation Oceans Alive, Carnival Corporation's environmental commitment and stewardship program, officially launched in 2018. Designed to promote a culture of transparency, learning and commitment within the corporation, Operation Oceans Alive ensures that all employees receive environmental education, training and oversight, while continuing the company's commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

"I am honored and privileged to serve in this important role, and look forward to continuing to work with our leaders, and most importantly, our team of dedicated employees to help build an ethics and compliance program that is truly world class," said Anderson. "Our strategic plan involves goals and key actions to build a strong and proactive compliance culture that is based on open communications – both listening and responding – as well as adequate resources and improved tools."

Donald added: "Our commitment is to excellence in safety, environmental protection and overall compliance while delivering joyful vacations and great shareholder returns. Pete understands what it takes to help build a corporate compliance effort that is effective, and will help lead us to pursue compliance-related goals through pragmatic solutions that achieve measurable results – another important step in our firm commitment to sustaining long-term environmental compliance, excellence and leadership. Pete's knowledge of global environmental law and corporate compliance makes him a valued addition to our leadership team, and we look forward to him playing a strong role in helping us consistently achieve and exceed our compliance objectives."

After studying law at the University of Virginia, Anderson clerked for a federal district judge in Charlotte, North Carolina before joining the Honors Program at the Environmental Crimes Section at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He later became an Assistant United States Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. After leaving government service, Pete's law practice involved both reactive defense and proactive compliance counseling services. He was also an adjunct professor at the Charlotte School of Law from 2010-15, teaching classes in fields including environmental law, corporate compliance, federal criminal law and compliance risk assessments.

Anderson received his Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in Environmental Science from Rutgers University. He was previously board-certified in corporate compliance through the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and is a frequent guest lecturer on a variety of corporate compliance issues and best practices.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.55 + 0.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.3 + 0.22%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.96 + 4.35%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.83 + 8.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which French Line ship struck a reef and caught fire off the coast of Mustique in the Caribbean? As recently as the early 1990's her broken hull was still visible on the reef.

Answer - The French liner Antilles ran aground near Mustique and leaking fuel oil caught fire inside the ship. By the time the QE2 arrived the French ship was an inferno. The passengers had already been taken ashore to Mustique in the lifeboats. The passengers boarded the QE2, and two other French ships that had come to assist, during the night. The Antilles capsized and sank the next day and the passengers were landed in Barbados.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield, England


Cruise News - August 5, 2019

Two Holland America Line Ships Explore Australia, New Zealand During 2019-2020 Season
Cruisers looking to channel their inner explorer and visit the ultimate paradise can chart a course to Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific with Holland America Line come this fall. Noordam spends the fall through spring showcasing the lands Down Under, while Maasdam charts a course on longer itineraries starting in August, including a bucket-list Australia circumnavigation.

Offering a premium, mid-sized ship experience, Noordam uncovers the enchanting isles of the South Pacific en route to Australia's southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand. Maasdam's voyages touch the South Pacific and New Zealand on cruises from 10 to 30 days and also reach the entire coast of Australia.

"Our Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises are crafted to focus on the must-explore ports, must-see sites and incredible scenic cruising — from cosmopolitan cities like Sydney to the natural beauty of Milford Sound," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Having two ships with two distinct paths makes it easier for guests to choose if they want to get a memorable taste of the region or if they want to go all in and join us on a longer adventure. No matter which itinerary they choose, guests won't be disappointed with what awaits."

Noordam Spends the Season Down Under Showcasing Highlights
Noordam offers cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, from October 2019 through April 2020. During the voyages, guests have unforgettable experiences with visits to iconic landmarks, some of the world's most scenic cruising and shore excursions that feature UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The ship kicks off the season Oct. 13, 2019, with a 26-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Sydney, with calls along the transpacific journey in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Noordam then begins a series of 12- to 15-day Australia and New Zealand cruises between Auckland and Sydney, including a special holiday cruise departing Dec. 21. These itineraries visit five or six ports in New Zealand as well as Hobart, Tasmania. Melbourne, Australia, is included on some of the 14-day cruises, while Port Arthur, Tasmania, is added to the 15-day itinerary. All include a day of scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, and several departures also feature scenic cruising in Milford Sound.

Three 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages departing in January and April sail roundtrip from Sydney and include seven or eight calls throughout the North and South islands of New Zealand, giving a comprehensive exploration of the country. The itinerary includes scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, and the April 2 departure also includes a call at Eden, Australia.

April 16, Noordam heads back across the Pacific Ocean on a 25-day journey from Sydney to Vancouver with calls in New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa, Hawaii and Canada.

Maasdam's Immersive Voyages Include Unique Port Visits
From August 2019 through March 2020, Maasdam explores Australia, New Zealand, the Coral Sea and Melanesia on longer voyages that deeply immerse guests into the cultures and customs of each location. Calling at lesser-visited ports along with popular favorites, the cruises range from 10 to 30 days, including the full circumnavigation of Australia. The Maasdam's specially curated itineraries set themselves apart with a dedicated onboard team of subject-matter experts and Excursions by Zodiac tours for up-close exploration.

Following a 29-day repositioning cruise from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, to Sydney, Maasdam sets its sights on New Zealand and the gorgeous islands of the Coral Sea. For travelers with less time, the 10-day New Zealand and Coral Sea cruise departing Oct. 7, 2019, is the ideal introduction to the region. Maasdam then begins a memorable 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney. The itinerary calls at 13 Australian ports and exotic Komodo Island and includes scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait and Ribbon Reef and a sunrise at Lizard Island.

The ship's immersive voyages continue with a series of itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands. The unique options include a 17-day cruise with six calls along Australia's eastern coast, including Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and several ports among the southern islands of Papua New Guinea; a 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure with nine island calls and two New Zealand ports; and a 14-day Southern Australia Holiday cruise departing Dec. 23 that spends time exploring Tasmania and six ports along Australia's south coast. The ship also sails 13-, 14- and 15-day itineraries that focus on the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia.

At the end of the season, Maasdam cruises back to San Diego, California, on a 19-day crossing from Papeete, visiting Bora Bora, Christmas Island and five ports in Hawaii.

Seabourn Announces 2021 World Cruise
Seabourn announces a remarkable opportunity for guests to experience one of the world's great travel adventures in style. It's the 2021 World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans, a 140-day round-the-world voyage aboard Seabourn Sojourn, set to visit 60 ports and destinations in 32 countries on six continents with unforgettable experiences to engage and enjoy along the way.

Scheduled to depart Miami on January 3, 2021, the World Cruise will sail east-to-west visiting Central America, the west coast of South America, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, and Africa, before ending in Barcelona, Spain, on May 24, 2021. The World Cruise is now open for sale, and the entire itinerary is available to peruse on Seabourn's website.

The new World Cruise itinerary is the work of Tim Littley, Seabourn's senior director of itinerary planning, who designed it with "differentiation" in mind. "I wanted this World Cruise to be exploratory in nature, focused thematically on alluring destinations and experiences that are a blend of sought after favorites combined with other smaller, quaint ports that are perhaps a bit unknown to some," Littley said.

Littley meticulously crafted an itinerary that will have guests excited and busy with dynamic experiences followed by opportunities to relax for a couple of days or more at sea in between port visits. "Even though we're headed around the world, we're comfortably wandering as we move from place to place. The cadence of the journey is designed to get guests into the rhythm of exploration with an equal amount of time to relax," he said.

As the name of the World Cruise implies, Seabourn Sojourn will cross two great oceans – Pacific and Indian – as well as traverse the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa. The 140-day voyage will include 10 overnights and linger late into the evening in 16 ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

For the first time, Seabourn will offer its popular "Ventures by Seabourn" program on a World Cruise, featuring an expert expedition team leading insightful explorations in the South Pacific. Optional kayaking, Zodiac, snorkeling and trekking tours will be available in French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and more.

In addition, there will be exclusive world cruise events planned over the course of the journey for guests on the full 140-day voyage, as well as local entertainment, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for all guests to savor as they sail around the globe.

Destination highlights on Seabourn's 2021 World Cruise include:

• Central and South America - Seabourn Sojourn's passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific will brim with experiences guests won't want to miss. The ship will skim the coast of Central America before making a full transit of the 51-mile-long Panama Canal, a feat of human ingenuity that continues to impress. Optional overland tours and shore excursions in South America will include the remarkable mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the paradise of the Galapagos archipelago some 850 miles off the mainland coast of Ecuador. The World Cruise will also feature Seabourn's first-ever landing at Easter Island – aka Rapa Nui – a bucket list destination if ever there was one, with an overnight stay and two full days to explore the mysterious stone-faced moai and more in depth. "Easter Island is something that will stay with you forever," says Littley.

• South Pacific - Seabourn Sojourn will visit Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. In Fiji, guests will visit Dravuni, a volcanic island less-than-½-mile square, with sparkling white-sand beaches and a population of fewer than 200. "It'll be like Robinson Crusoe on Dravuni, with the beach all to us," says Littley. The ship will also spend a day at Tavanipupu, a private island in the Solomon Islands, with spectacular snorkeling and a traditional welcome by indigenous performers, as well as three days at Papua New Guinea, home of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

• Australia - Following the arrival at Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Seabourn Sojourn will proceed south along the coast of Australia with stops to take in the stunning harbor of Sydney, the indigenous penguin colonies of tiny Phillip Island, and an overnight stay in Melbourne. The ship will spend a long day for guests to savor the renowned culinary offerings of Adelaide; cross the Great Australian Bight; call in Albany, the last stop for Anzac forces bound for Europe during World War II; and take in Bunbury, renowned for wild bottlenose dolphins that swim along the shore of Koombana Bay, before sailing north up the western edge of the continent to Broome.

• Africa - Following seven days in Indonesia including two nights in Bali, the ship will cross the Indian Ocean en route to Africa, with two days in Seychelles leading to three days in Mombasa, Kenya. "Mombasa is our anchor highlight," says Littley, noting onshore opportunities such as optional safari tours to potentially witness the "Big Five" in the Serengeti. The ship's list of destinations in Africa goes on and on, including overnights in Cape Town, South Africa, and Walvis Bay, Namibia, the latter offering desert tours that stay out until late in the evening to gaze at stars in impossibly dark skies.

Finally, Seabourn Sojourn will sail up the west coast of Africa, going in-depth and visiting off-the-beaten-path yet culturally-rich destinations including Benin, Ghana, Togo, Gambia, and the capital of Senegal, Dakar, surrounded by Atlantic beaches on the coast of the Cape Verde Peninsula. The ship will then sail onto the Cape Verde and Canary Islands and spend a long day in Casablanca followed by two days at sea before disembarking in Barcelona, Spain.

Carnival App to Include Youth Activities
Continuing to help families make the most of their vacations, Carnival Cruise Line has updated its popular HUB App to include a comprehensive day-by-day schedule of onboard youth programming and activities with the ability to “like” favorites to receive reminders and updates.

The leader in family cruising carrying more than 900,000 children each year, Carnival has created seemingly endless opportunities for kid-friendly fun from its three age-specific programs to a wide range of onboard activities and attractions. Now, as part of the app’s expanded capabilities and functionality, schedules and details for these options are available in one convenient and centralized area.

Carnival’s age-specific youth programs featured on the app include:

• Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) – ocean-inspired area with 400+ arts & crafts, games and educational activities; three age groups: Penguins (2-5), Sting Rays (6-8) and Sharks (9-11).

• Circle “C” (ages 12-14) – colorful, vibrant teen space featuring active and video games, crafting activities and dance parties.

• Club O2 (ages 15-17) – cool, high-tech hangout with theme nights, dance parties, movies, karaoke, and more.

A variety of family-friendly programming is also highlighted within the app, including:

• Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea – kids make their own customized furry friend keepsake.

• Hasbro, The Game Show – family-oriented entertainment option including larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games and activities.

• Outdoor Attractions – operating hours for WaterWorks aqua parks, SportSquare outdoor recreation area and other open-air spaces.

• Punchliner Comedy Club – early evening hilarious family-friendly comedy performances for guests of all ages.

• Seuss at Sea – fleetwide program featuring Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, and other activities.

• Zumbini – high-energy early childhood music and movement class created by Zumba and BabyFirst combining singing, dancing and fun instruments; family classes offered on longer cruises for parent/child bonding.

“Our guests continue to be engaged and excited by our award-winning youth programs, and the HUB App now helps parents keep up with all of the fun in one easy-to-navigate area to plan their perfect vacation. We expect this to be an extremely popular feature for families that want to maximize the fun,” said Melissa Wisecarver, director of youth experience for Carnival Cruise Line.

“We’re always looking for ways to expand the capabilities of the HUB App and we’re delighted to provide parents and families with this comprehensive overview of our offerings right at their fingertips. We have a lot more in store for the HUB App,” said Alfredo Rojas, senior director of digital product and mobile for Carnival Cruise Line.

Also new is a feature that allows parents to view a detailed, time-specific breakdown of activities and locations for Camp Ocean’s daily programming as well as check-in and check-out information and reminders.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 6 million total downloads. HUB App is designed to make the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account.

The HUB App was recently expanded to allow guests to have pizza and beverages delivered anywhere on board. Further enhancements and innovations will continue to be rolled out in the coming months.

Norwegian Cruise Line Enhances Onboard Entertainment Program with Six: The Musical
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that SIX, the critically-acclaimed British pop musical about Henry VIII's six wives will debut on board Norwegian Bliss, Breakaway and Getaway beginning next month.

From Tudor queens to pop princesses, SIX is a historical retelling of Henry VIII's six wives. Each leading lady takes centerstage to share her personal story and reclaim her identity. Remixing 500 years of heartbreak into a celeb'ration of 21st century girl power, the production features lively performances and music by an all-female band.

"Guests will be mesmerized by the comical and powerful leading ladies who will have them laughing, singing and dancing their way out of the theatre," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "SIX is an excellent example of the exceptional entertainment we feature across our innovative fleet; we are really proud to add this amazing musical to our lineup."

From the premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 to its recently announced debut at the Brooks Atkinson on Broadway in spring 2020, the musical was written by aspiring young playwrights Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and produced by Andy and Wendy Barnes of the Global Musicals theatre company, award-winning songwriter George Stiles, the acclaimed West End producer Kenny Wax and Broadway impresario Kevin McCollum.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Norwegian Cruise Line to showcase this award-winning musical for the first time at sea," said Kenny Wax, one of the producers of SIX. "Originating from the minds of two senior Cambridge University students in the U.K., the show has surprised and delighted audiences around the globe."

SIX will appear first on Norwegian Bliss on September 1, 2019, followed by Norwegian Breakaway on November 10, 2019 and Norwegian Getaway on April 23, 2020.

Norwegian Bliss offers seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle through September 29, 2019, seven-day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles beginning October 6, 2019, and seven-day Bahamas and Florida voyages from New York starting November 24, 2019. Norwegian Breakaway is currently sailing seven-day cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Miami through November 22, 2019 before heading to Port Canaveral, Fla. to sail seven-day Caribbean cruises. In April 2020, Norwegian Getaway will offer seven-day voyages to the Western Caribbean from New Orleans before returning to Europe to sail a mix of 10-to-11-day Greek Isles and Italy cruises from Rome.

Princess Cruises Seeks Couples for Largest Vow Renewal at Sea Record Attempt
Cue "The Love Boat" theme song! Princess Cruises - the international premium cruise line known for its legacy of romance and adventure declared today it will attempt to host the largest renewal of vows ceremony at sea in hopes to set a world record onboard a Valentine's Day cruise. Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed the endearing Captain Stubing, will officiate and Jill Whelan, his television daughter Vicki, will serve as matron of honor hosting the ceremony onboard Regal Princess, setting sail February 9-16, 2020. Sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, guest will visit Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and the cruise line's private, romantic beach Princess Cays.

"I'm honored to be officiating this ceremony and can't think of a better way to celebrate and commemorate a couple's love, than by reaffirming their commitment to one another onboard the 'Love Boat' over Valentine's Day," said Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises ambassador.

Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan added, "It wouldn't be a Princess cruise unless there's romance. We invite couples of all ages to join us for this celebration of love on the high seas."

"The Love Boat" aired for 10 seasons from 1977 to 1986, and the show sparked the growth of the cruise industry making cruise vacations attainable for the masses. Since then, Princess has been helping guests find and celebrate love each year.

Additional romantic touches will be offered on the cruise, and more details about this special voyage will be announced soon.

Interested couples are encouraged to book now by contacting their travel advisor, calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.21 - 4.52%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.06 - 7.38%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.92 - 6.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 46.05 - 6.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which French Line ship struck a reef and caught fire off the coast of Mustique in the Caribbean? As recently as the early 1990's her broken hull was still visible on the reef.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of dip156 at yahoo.com


Cruise News - July 29, 2019

Costa Cruises Holds Steel-Cutting Ceremony for Costa Toscana
Costa Cruises today celebrated the first steel-cutting for Costa Toscana, the brand's second ship that can be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials" BORDER="0" ALIGN="left">Costa Toscana is the second of two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The first of these, Costa Smeralda, is nearing completion at the Meyer Turku shipyard and will enter service in October of this year, followed by Costa Toscana, which is expected to be delivered in 2021.

In total, following AIDAnova's launch at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by LNG, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025 for AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK), Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, in addition to Costa Cruises.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a ground-breaking innovation that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95 to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation's 2020 sustainability goals and fully implemented by Costa Cruises and the company's eight additional brands. Carnival Corporation achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule in 2017 and made additional progress on that goal with a 27.6% reduction in emissions from operations in 2018.

With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each ship, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group's fleet expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023. Carnival Corporation's Costa Group includes the company's Costa Cruises, Costa Asia and AIDA Cruises brands. AIDAnova, the first of these new ships, was launched at the end of 2018, followed by Costa Venezia, the brand's first ship designed for the Chinese market, at the end of February 2019.

"The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities."

Palomba continued: "Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold. However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises' hallmark since the brand's inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike."

"Modern shipyard for modern ships," said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. "With the first Costa Cruises' ship, Costa Smeralda, being delivered in October, both of these ships will have lots of beautiful design and interesting features – and, of course, very high-quality work and best-in-industry engineering. We are very proud to build these ships for Costa."

The Italian cruise line's two new flagships, Costa Toscana and Costa Smeralda, will be tributes to the very best of Italy and, accordingly, each is named after one of the country's loveliest and most popular areas, Tuscany and Costa Smeralda ("costa" is Italian for "coast"). On Costa Smeralda, all decks and public areas are named after – and designed based on – iconic Italian places. The food and wine offerings on board will feature the finest Italian culinary traditions, with the collaboration of prestigious partner suppliers. The ship will have 11 different restaurants, including one specifically conceived for casual family dining, 19 bars, a splendid spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated facility where kids can hang out and make new friends their age. Costa Smeralda will also have her very own museum: the CoDe – Costa Design Museum – showcasing the excellence of Italian design.

Take 5 to Debut as the Only Jazz Theater at Sea Onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Signature jazz evenings will regale guests onboard the new Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess at Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea. Celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz, the new lounge will also feature hand-crafted cocktails by Princess partner and Master Mixologist Rob Floyd in a chic bar setting.

Debuting onboard the cruise line's newest ships Sky Princess (October 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), Take 5 will offer curated experiences honoring the roots of jazz, the birth of BeBop, contemporary jazz and iconic female artists, while highlighting how destinations helped shaped this musical genre.

"Our new signature lounge, Take 5, introduces jazz theater: a harmonious collection of live performances and interactive experiences that bring to life the stories behind this music genre," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Take 5 sets the stage for our guests to enjoy the music and dance in a space that recalls noteworthy jazz clubs in their heyday."

Take 5 celebrates this important American art-form, with live performances by dedicated jazz musicians, dance lessons, engaging speakers and workshops, guest performers and after-hours parties. It will also feature surprise, pop-up performances so no two nights are the same. Carefully curated, custom media content will play on screens including archival footage and iconic imagery.

A selection of the Take 5 afternoon enrichment and themed nights, will include:

A Night in Harlem – sounds of the roaring 1920s will transport guests to the underground world of the speakeasy in the heart of New York City with iconic sounds of the prohibition era. Guests can expect tunes from artists like King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Charles "Buddy" Bolden.

The Birth of Big Band and BeBop – heading into the late 1940s, post-war jazz and the birth of BeBop showcases the amazing speed and technical ability of these incredible musicians. Music from artists like Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon will fill the air while costumed bow-tied-wearing staff deliver classic cocktails.

The Way You Look Tonight – celebrates the incredible women of jazz throughout history, and how these legendary vocalists and instrumentalists changed musical history. Guest can expect songs from artists like Ella Fitzgerald to Billie Holiday to Norah Jones.

Toda La Noche – Fiery Afro-Cuban Jazz – an unforgettable journey through the Caribbean celebrates the spicy rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz with classic beats spanning Latin, European and African American influences. Before the show, guests can take salsa lessons to popular Buena Vista Social Club covers. Featured music includes songs from artists like Tito Puente, Irakere and Dizzy Gillespie. This night ends with an invitation back for a 'descarga' jam session.

A Sophisticated Evening of Cool – the cool jazz sounds of the 1950s will fill the space as guests journey on the ultimate American jazz road trip, taking in sounds all the way from New York to California. Guests can expect songs from musical legends like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and John Lewis.

Contemporary Directions – A Festival of Jazz – honors recent decades of jazz music, featuring local artists from the various destinations the ships sail.

Take 5 patrons will never miss a beat as they sit back, relax and order a drink directly to their seat with on-demand service, just one of the features available as part of the Princess MedallionClass experience on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth Meet in Halifax for the First Time
Cunard's flagship liner Queen Mary 2 had a rare meeting with sister ship Queen Elizabeth and offered spectacular sailaway on July 26, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, birthplace of the company's founder Sir Samuel Cunard. The meeting was arranged in celebration of Zita Cobb and Sandra Greer, this year's recipients of the Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity and The Innovative Spirit Award, respectively.

The Samuel Cunard Award for Vision, Courage and Creativity was inaugurated in 2015 to celebrate the company's 175th Anniversary in the ancestral home of its founder Sir Samuel Cunard. Created in partnership with the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Cunard, the award acknowledges an extraordinary individual who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Samuel Cunard throughout his life. The Innovative Spirit Award was created to honor an individual who stands out as having a pioneering spirit similar to Sir Samuel Cunard.

From Halifax, Queen Mary 2 sails to New York, and then on to England with Cunard historian John G. Langley, Q.C., Director and Chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society aboard. Langley will be donating a significant portion of his Cunard collection to the Cunard Archives at the University of Liverpool after his voyage. Guests onboard Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic Crossing will have the opportunity to see select pieces from the collection and attend talks given by Langley.

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported record second quarter results and updated its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share versus the company's latest midpoint guidance of $9.45 per share (including the impact of the Cuban travel restrictions). This is an improvement of approximately $0.15 per share due to better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook for the second half of the year.

"We are elated to see our brands executing so effectively, keeping our business in an exceptionally strong position," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "Our strategic focus on destinations, technology and people is clearly paying off. And, our core products are doing exceptionally well, driven by a gratifyingly robust demand for the Caribbean."

SECOND QUARTER 2019

US GAAP Net Income for the second quarter of 2019 was $472.8 million or $2.25 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $532.7 million or $2.54 per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share. The improvement over last year was mainly driven by increased revenue from our global brands.

Gross Yields were up 9.4% and Net Yields were up 9.5% in Constant-Currency, within guidance. Better demand for onboard experiences as well as strong close-in demand for our core products fully offset the impact from the travel restrictions to Cuba which equated to 30 basis points for the quarter.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 8.2% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 8.9% in Constant-Currency, better than guidance, driven by timing. The travel restrictions to Cuba were neutral to NCC excluding Fuel in the second quarter.

Additionally, lower interest expense contributed to the second quarter's positive performance.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $483.8 per metric ton and consumption was 374,600 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2019 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said that it expects its full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share. The midpoint of the company's latest Adjusted EPS guidance was $9.45 (including the impact of the Cuban travel restriction). Thus, the midpoint of the company's guidance has improved by approximately $0.15 per share due to better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook for the second half of the year.

Net Yields for the year are expected to increase 7.75% to 8.25% in Constant-Currency. This guidance includes the impact of approximately 70 basis points related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings. Excluding this impact, the midpoint of the company's Net Yield guidance has improved by approximately 40 basis points versus our previous guidance driven by better demand for our core products in the second half of the year.

NCC excluding Fuel for the year are expected to be up 10.0% to 10.5% in Constant-Currency. This guidance reflects an increase in our costs related to the travel restrictions to Cuba.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it estimates 2019 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share.

"Royal Caribbean said that it's booked position for the remainder of 2019 continues to set new records with all core products in line or ahead of the company's previous expectations," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "While it is too early to provide detailed color on 2020, we are delighted that bookings are already off to a very strong start."

THIRD QUARTER 2019

Net Yields are expected to increase approximately 6.5% in Constant-Currency and 5.5% to 6.0% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 340 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. These Net Yields were negatively impacted by approximately 110 basis points related to the discontinuation of the Cuba sailings.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD for the quarter are expected to increase approximately 11.0% in Constant-Currency and approximately 10.5% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 850 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it expects third quarter Adjusted EPS to be approximately $4.35 per share.

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches 'Free the Beat' Program
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced the ‘Free the Beat’ program, a platform where the music industry's best songwriters, artists, talent and creators have the freedom to develop curated content for the brand’s first global music library inspired by the world's most beautiful destinations.

As part of the new initiative, the company will team up with leaders in the music industry to curate a portfolio of exclusive content that will be leveraged through multiple guest-facing channels, including on board the 16-ship fleet. From hosting exclusive songwriter cruises to releasing never-before-heard uncut tracks from world-renowned music powerhouses, such as Family Affair Productions and Warner Chappell Music, this program will deliver the brand’s first global music library. The music created will also enhance the guest experience by bringing the cruising experience to life with destination-inspired onboard playlists.

Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Andy Grammer, whose song ‘Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)’ can be heard in one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest advertisements, will host the brand’s first songwriters cruise. Select songwriters will be invited to sail on board the recently revitalized Norwegian Joy on a seven-day voyage to Alaska from Seattle. The goal is to inspire content creation through the world-class experiences available on board and ashore within the destinations they will visit.

“The place that you’re in affects the art that comes out of you,” said Andy Grammer, multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter. “In my career, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in writing trips around the world and can’t think of a cooler place than Alaska to feel inspired to create. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing program with Norwegian Cruise Line and can’t wait to experience their first songwriters cruise to kickoff of their first-ever global music library.”

During the cruise, the songwriters will have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line provides through its breadth of innovative experiences. Onboard offerings include the world’s only racetrack and open-air laser tag arenas at sea; over 30 restaurant and lounge options; Broadway-caliber entertainment; and design elements that bring guests closer to the beauty of the ocean, such as The Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade complete with outdoor dining and lounging, as well as the Observation Lounge, offering unobstructed 180-degree views.

“We are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences to our guests and leveraging new and innovative ways to connect with them,” said Meg Lee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Music is a universal way to engage with people, and the ‘Free the Beat’ program will allow us to enhance our storytelling with exclusive content created for us and inspired by the places we take our guests. We look forward to partnering with the best in the industry to grow our global library with music that aligns with our brand, connects guests to the nearly 300 destinations we visit and showcasing it around the globe.”

The first songwriters cruise will take place in August aboard Norwegian Joy with Andy Grammer and Family Affair Productions. The seven-day voyage to Alaska will begin in Seattle with calls to Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska; as well as Victoria, British Columbia. The second cruise will be announced later this year and will be in collaboration with Warner Chappell Music.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.35 + 4.99%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 115.59 + 3.55%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.98 - 1.01%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.10 + 2.46%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of dip156 at yahoo.com


Cruise News - July 22, 2019

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, successfully completed its sea trials in the Adriatic Sea earlier this week in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 11, 2019, becoming the line’s first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials" BORDER="0" ALIGN="left">Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Panorama had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s sophisticated technical, mechanical and navigation systems.

“Carnival Panorama is a wonderful addition to the fleet and she passed all of her maneuvers and tests with flying colors. We can’t wait to welcome guests aboard this beautiful ship,” said Carnival Panorama Captain Carlo Queirolo.

As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Panorama will offer innovations such as the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea and a new ChooseFun WaterWorks aqua park inspired by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, as well as popular onboard venues like Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, featuring BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri and craft beers brewed on board.

Carnival Panorama will also offer a variety of accommodation choices, including the tropics-inspired Havana area with colorful staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool; Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge; and luxurious Cloud 9 Spa staterooms with special amenities and privileges.

Following an inaugural three-day voyage to Ensenada, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach Dec. 14. The week-long adventures will visit spectacular seaside resort towns including Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.

Seabourn Unveils Dining Experiences On New Ultra-Luxury Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn has given travelers a glimpse of the eight dining experiences, as well as a first-ever look at The Restaurant, on its two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022.

Diners are sure to be delighted for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout their adventures with Seabourn. Each dining experience showcases the high quality and breadth of cuisine crafted by Seabourn's skilled chefs from top-quality ingredients with an eye toward the latest culinary innovations and trends, and service by talented staff who are always at the top of their game.

>"We're proud of our legacy in the culinary arena, cultivated over more than 30 years by a team intent on producing fresh, delicious and memorable cuisine equal to the finest restaurants anywhere," said Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of Hotel Operations for Seabourn. "These eight dining experiences – and the venues themselves – have been designed with expeditions in mind, with inspired details that keep bringing the luxury expedition experience to life, and where guests can unwind to share memories of the day over a wonderfully prepared meal, glass of wine or perfectly crafted cocktail."

As with any Seabourn ship, all dining experiences are complimentary, and guests can dine when, where and with whom they choose. Premium spirits, fine wines and other beverages are complimentary everywhere on board, with a number of special selections also available for an additional charge. Starting with the first voyages in 2021, expedition travelers will find an appealing array of tempting dining experiences including:

• The Restaurant: Fine dining in an elegant, open-seating dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner

• The Colonnade: A more casual alternative for buffet or table service breakfast and lunch, and themed dinner served tableside, including family-style menus by Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller.

• Sushi in The Club: A variety of sushi bites are freshly made to order here every evening.

• Seabourn Square: A sociable oasis serving delectable specialty coffees, pastries, sandwiches and homemade gelati throughout the day and into the evening

• Pantry in the Bow Lounge: Help yourself to freshly prepared light fare and refreshments as you scan the horizon

• Constellation Lounge: A nod to the heritage of Seabourn, the Constellation Lounge is the spot for early-risers' pastries and beverages, elegant afternoon Tea Time and cocktail-time tapas

• 24-Hour In-Suite Dining: Choose from a varied menu anytime, or have dinner from The Restaurant menu served course-by-course in your suite or on your veranda.

A fixture across the entire Seabourn fleet, The Restaurant offers a stunning, elegant setting to enjoy an impeccably prepared meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, The Restaurant is a masterfully curated space anchoring food and beverage service on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship.

Located on Deck 4, The Restaurant is a stunning setting serving perfectly plated dishes that rival the finest restaurants in any city or hotel, to be enjoyed in classic open seating, where guests dine when, where and with whom they wish. The venue also offers an expansive wine selection, with Old World and New World labels that includes a number of fine complimentary choices. Guests can also browse the extensive list of premium wines available for an additional charge to please the most sophisticated palates.

Tihany has kept natural elements at the forefront of his work for the expedition ships, and The Restaurant features design inspired by the abstract, geometric nature of snowflakes, merging bold lines and shapes with a softness reminiscent of falling snow. Leather wall paneling with visible stitching brings a unique three-dimensional diamond arrangement to the space, while blue and green carpeting with geometric patterns surrounds a central porcelain floor that recalls the natural sediment of a geode. Overhead abstract diamond lighting fixtures of ribbed glass and metal details are inspired by the symmetry and complexity of snowflakes, and bronze mirror details add a touch of sparkle throughout the space.

Seating in The Restaurant is similarly noteworthy, with dining chairs fashioned by the product arm of Tihany Design. Designed for comfort, the chairs beckon with rich burgundy leather against a textured fabric seat back, with exposed rivet details and wood frame echoing the tactile craftsmanship found elsewhere throughout each expedition ship. As a crowning touch, the dining space is elevated by a sophisticated wine display encased in bronze framed glass.

Each new ultra-luxury expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites.

Carnival Vista Arrives at Grand Bahama Shipyard to Begin Repair
Following a first-of-its-kind procedure in which Carnival Vista was loaded onto the Boka Vanguard, a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel operated by Netherlands-based Boskalis, the cruise ship arrived at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport this evening to begin repairs of its azipod propulsion system.

The process began last night with Carnival Vista and Boka Vanguard rendezvousing off the coast of Freeport and took approximately 24 hours to complete.

Carnival Vista will stay positioned within the “floating dry dock” at the Grand Bahama Shipyard while repairs are being made.

After being offloaded from the Boka Vanguard, Carnival Vista will depart Freeport later this month and resume its year-round Caribbean schedule from Galveston on July 27.

World's Leading Adventurers to Inspire Cunard Guests in Alaska
Cunard announced this week that it is bringing together two of the biggest names in exploration and mountaineering as Queen Elizabeth returns for a full season in Alaska in 2020.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes – acknowledged as the 'World's Greatest Living Explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records – will headline an engaging series of lectures; he will be sharing personal insights of his adventures as Queen Elizabeth sails through the pristine beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

Guests will experience a first-hand account of Sir Ranulph's notable expeditions. These include the 1972-82 Transglobe, the first surface journey around the polar axis, as well as the Pentland South Pole Expedition, which was led by Sir Ranulph and achieved the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent. Sir Ranulph has since climbed Mount Everest as well as the North Face of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps, guided by Kenton Cool, and has raised $22.8 million for charity throughout his career.

Mountaineer Kenton Cool, one of the finest alpine climbers of his generation, will also join Cunard onboard Queen Elizabeth in Alaska. Cool has summited Mount Everest fourteen times, including his 2009 climb when he guided Sir Ranulph's Everest expedition. Cool holds the unique title of being the first person in history to climb the three Everest peaks -- dubbed the "Triple Crown" -- in one climb, an achievement thought to be impossible. He will share this and other remarkable life experiences with guests.

"Cunard is famous for our renowned onboard enrichment program, offering guests exclusive access to some of the most revered and inspirational speakers," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Kenton Cool are two of the greatest outdoor record achievers living today and our passengers will be thrilled to hear first-hand accounts of their explorations while sailing though the awe-inspiring nature of Alaska onboard Cunard's majestic Queen Elizabeth."

Sir Ranulph will be the first featured guest speaker in Alaska, on Queen Elizabeth's sailing between Vancouver and Juneau (June 2-4, 2020). Kenton Cool will board the ship on June 12 and sail on voyages through July 2, 2020.

Earlier this year it was announced that Cunard will visit Glacier Bay during its 2020 Alaska voyages. Cunard will be the only cruise line offering 10, 11 and 12 day roundtrip voyages from Vancouver in 2020 that soak up the majestic and pristine drama of both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. In other experiences only to be found on Cunard, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Alaska with a Cultured Heritage Guide on every sailing. For relaxation, guests can indulge in Mareel Wellness & beauty (Cunard's new holistic spa concept) on every voyage, offering oceanic treatments and meditation rituals inspired by wilderness. As night falls, with the backdrop of Alaska, guests will enjoy a unique sense of occasion with an Ice White Ball in the spectacular Queens Room on every voyage.

Cunard has doubled its Alaska program in 2020, offering a full season from June through September. All voyages are roundtrip out of Vancouver ranging from nine to 12 nights and one getaway voyage to San Francisco for an overnight stay on the 4th of July, 2020. The Alaska voyages will feature full days in ports such as Ketchikan, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway and others.

Carnival Corporation Launches Website Featuring Advanced Air Quality Systems
- Carnival Corporation & plc today announced the launch of a new dedicated Advanced Air Quality Systems website that features relevant background information, videos, animations, photos and graphics to highlight the environmental benefits of using the innovative technology commonly referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems or "scrubbers."

As a key element of Carnival Corporation's commitment to sustainable operations, Advanced Air Quality Systems enable overall cleaner air emissions from ships both at port and at sea. These systems are proven to be a safe and effective solution for compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 regulations for sulfur, while also meeting international air and water quality standards.

The new website features key facts, figures and performance results that detail how Advanced Air Quality Systems work in the small confines of a cruise ship, using sea water to remove virtually all the sulfur from engine exhaust, preventing it from entering the atmosphere, improving air emissions and supporting sustainable operations in the global shipping industry.

Advanced Air Quality Systems have been used for decades on land as a proven and effective way to significantly reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter produced by an engine's operation. As part of its commitment to developing innovative solutions that support sustainable operations, Carnival Corporation began pioneering this technology breakthrough in 2006, enabling Advanced Air Quality Systems to operate efficiently and effectively in the small confines of a cruise ship.

"Our Advanced Air Quality Systems are an important part of our strategy to improve air quality in port and at sea, a strategy that also includes the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), shore power and marine gasoil (MGO)," said Mike Kaczmarek, senior vice president for marine technology for Carnival Corporation. "Due to the success we have had improving air quality with these systems, we decided to launch a dedicated website to help educate the public on the environmental benefits of Advanced Air Quality Systems and their effectiveness as a solution for meeting and exceeding the upcoming IMO regulations, while we continue to expand the technology throughout our fleet."

As of July 2019, the company has installed over 220 Advanced Air Quality Systems on 77 of the more than 100 ships in its fleet, with a goal of installing nearly 400 scrubber systems over time in its multi-engine ships. By 2020, the company expects 85 percent of its global fleet to be fitted with Advanced Air Quality Systems at an investment of over $500 million.

The website features a number of third-party scientific studies that further validate that Advanced Air Quality Systems improve air quality and exceed major air and water quality standards with no adverse impact on the environment. A new study that includes third-party analysis by DNV GL, a leading classification society and recognized advisor for the maritime industry, shows that Advanced Air Quality Systems are a safe and effective means for compliance with the IMO's 2020 requirements on the global shipping fleet, which include regulations for cleaner air emissions and strict wash-water quality standards.

The study concluded that the wash-water samples from the Advanced Air Quality Systems were below the limits set by several major national and international water quality and land-based water discharge standards, which provides further proof of the quality and safety of the wash water, even when compared to criteria like the World Health Organization's (WHO) drinking water guidelines. In fact, when measured against IMO standards, the average wash-water test results in this study were over 90% lower than IMO limits. In the majority of samples, the materials were completely undetectable in the laboratory testing process.

Other benefits of the technology are highlighted on the new site, including that extensive testing has confirmed that Advanced Air Quality Systems in many ways outperform low-sulfur MGO in providing cleaner overall air emissions from ships. The systems remove almost all of the sulfur from engine exhaust and about 75% of all particulate matter (PM), and they are especially effective in removing small particulates. Additionally, studies show that exhaust from these systems has proportionally less PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and lower nitrous oxide (NOx) when compared to MGO emissions.

Coupled with other complementary technologies that also have ecological advantages, including launching the world's first-ever cruise ships powered in port or at sea by LNG, and promoting the use of shore power, Advanced Air Quality Systems will help Carnival Corporation meet its own aggressive 2020 sustainability goals and international, national and local regulations for the over 700 ports the corporation's ships visit each year.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.10 - 3.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.63 - 1.08%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.99 - 2.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 47.92 - 4.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - The two 4-stackers built for a route other than the North Atlantic were Arundel Castle and Windsor Castle. They were built for the Union Castle Line's UK to South Africa mail service. They entered service shortly after the end of World War I. Both were lengthened to increase their speed in the late 1930's and became 2-stackers. Windsor Castle was a casualty in World War II but Arundel Castle continued in the mail service until late 1958. I was given a tour of Arundel Castle in Port Elizabeth in September 1955.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - July 15, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line To Operate Largest Bermuda Season Ever
Carnival Cruise Line will operate its largest Bermuda season ever in 2019-2020, with more than 40 voyages visiting the nation, including eight week-long cruises departing from Baltimore and Charleston next year.

In total, six different Carnival ships – Carnival Breeze, Magic, Pride, Radiance, Sunshine and Sunrise – will offer four- to nine-day Bermuda cruises from five homeports along the eastern seaboard between now and next year.

Carnival is the only cruise operator to offer round-trip Bermuda cruises from Charleston, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale. Nine-day Bermuda departures have also been added to the New York-based schedules of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance that include four-day cruises to the island as well.

Carnival's diverse Bermuda schedule not only encompasses a wide range of cruise durations and homeports but also a variety of ship sizes and amenities, providing consumers with unprecedented opportunities to visit the popular destination.

"Guest feedback on our Bermuda program has been nothing short of sensational and we're delighted to expand our offerings to provide even more guests an opportunity to experience all this tropical island paradise has to offer," said Fred Stein, Carnival's vice president of revenue planning and deployment.

The seven week-long cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore will be offered aboard Carnival Pride and spend three days in Bermuda, while a seven-day cruise from Charleston aboard Carnival Sunshine will feature two days on the island along with a visit to the private Bahamian destination of Princess Cays. Baltimore departure dates include May 31, Aug. 2 and 23, Sept. 6 and 20, and Oct. 4 and 18, 2020. The cruise from Charleston departs Oct. 17, 2020.

While in Bermuda, guests can relax on the island's legendary pink beaches, enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and other water sports, and visit historical landmarks such as Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere. Numerous shopping, dining and golfing experiences are also available.

Princess Cruises Announces Escape Room Experience
Cruise guests ready to travel through time and space need to look no further than Princess Cruises newest ships – Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess – to experience Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room.

"Phantom Bridge, our newest Discovery at SEA interactive attraction, will offer our guests the exclusive opportunity to live a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes for the ultimate adventure," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Partnering with Farbound to deliver this unprecedented technology and world's first interactive Mediascape Room further solidifies our commitment to share innovative and distinctive offerings to our guests."

On the Phantom Bridge, Princess Cruises guests will face immersive environments and show moments as they race to solve puzzles and travel to endangered time periods. The entire ship will transform and respond to guest actions, enveloping them in the story. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by Farbound, the leader in gamified real-life experiences, the debut of Phantom Bridge will feature the first Mediascape Room, the proprietary gaming and show-control system that runs the entire game play.

"As Princess Cruises is committed to delivering a completely different and memorable experience for its guests, we are so honored to be working with them as Farbound's partner. This new class of entertainment offerings will strengthen and hold Princess Cruises position as the leader in the travel industry," said Tim Rheault & Steve Trowbridge, Co-Founders of Farbound.

Phantom Bridge offers a range of activities including:

Uncover the clues to solve the mystery – projection mapping, touch screen surfaces and hidden physical elements bring the environment to life as players race to uncover new clues and solve puzzles that will transport them to the next endangered time period.

Blends the physical with the digital with immersive effects – players captain the ship and turn the physical wheel to navigate the vessel and watch as the simulation view changes. Lighting, sound and digital features disguised as physical ones are combined to create an immersive, realistic experience, every step of the way. But, players beware as they'll never know when a new item could mysteriously appear and be the key to the next puzzle.

Families can play together! – Phantom Bridge tailors the experience to players of all ages, heights and physical abilities so parents, kids and grandparents can all play together. Plus, with so many levels, time periods and puzzles more than 700 different outcomes are possible, which means players can come back and engage in Phantom Bridge time and time again since it's never the same adventure.

Phantom Bridge will also debut onboard the cruise line's next ship, Enchanted Princess, summer 2020. Guests can try Phantom Bridge in the new Experience Center located on deck 18. The event lasts 23 minutes and can accommodate up to six people.

For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Inc. to create Discovery at SEA onboard programming that brings to life destinations and fan-favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows. Guests can choose from exclusive, family friendly shore excursions and onboard activities like Stargazing at Sea. Younger cruisers, 17 and under, will also enjoy the recently renovated Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers.

New, Amplified Adventures On Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas To Make A Summer Splash In Europe
Travelers can soon take in Europe's historic destinations from a bold, new perspective on board the amplified Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the signature feats and innovative experiences coming to the renowned Oasis Class ship as part of a 58-day, $165 million transformation. Guests will be able to conquer a continent's worth of adventures and come back for more with Allure's upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. Reimagined as the ultimate summer vacation in Europe, Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

Whether the moment calls for thrills or relaxation, vacationers sailing on the amplified Allure of the Seas can test their courage or sit back at the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood that will now tout the perfect family day out. Feature highlights include:

• The 10-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea

• The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell

• Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, featuring twin drench buckets, three waterslides, fountains, pools, water cannons and a Splash Pad for tots

• Reimagined pool deck, complete with The Lime & Coconut signature bar across two locations, a wider variety of seating and shade with cabana-like "casitas," daybeds, hammocks and swing seats; new whirlpools on the top deck, and a reinvigorated, adults-only Solarium

The thrill will go from the outside-in on board the amped-up Allure. Expanding on the ways that families can spend time together and on their own are the additions of completely reimagined, dedicated spaces for babies, kids and teens, and popular Royal Caribbean activities.

• All-new Adventure Ocean, where younger kids can choose their own immersive adventures across an entirely new layout. The major makeover will bring to life interactive, personalized and unexpected activities and features in areas redesigned from top to bottom, including whimsical rooms with climbable creations at Play Place, hands-on art, science and tech fun at Workshop; friendly competition in physical, interactive games at Arena; the Hangout, to chill and make new friends over gaming consoles or sit back for some quality "me" time, AO Babies for babies and tots, and experiential activities at the multipurpose AO Junior space specially designed for 3- to 5-year-olds

• Maxed-out teen spaces, debuting a 360-degree transformation, with a secret speakeasy-like entrance leading into an exclusive lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck

• Glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Clash for the Crystal City and Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing, an out-of-this-world expedition that challenges guests to solve puzzle after puzzle before time runs out

A World of Flavors

Allure will deliver an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, casual spots and bars joining the already-diverse offering of specialty and complimentary options.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new take on a guest-favorite, will offer the beloved family-style, rustic dining experience with an enhanced menu of Italian staples, complete with hand-tossed pizza from the new in-house pizza oven, an expansive charcuterie station and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos

• Portside BBQ will serve up a menu inspired by popular barbecue styles across the United States, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread and more Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for gameday watch parties on big-screen TVs, tournaments, bar bites with a twist and ice-cold brews

• El Loco Fresh, featuring casual Mexican "street fare"

• Sugar Beach, the sweetest spot on board with more than 220 types of candy and ice cream Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, manned by two robot bartenders shaking up classic cocktails and custom orders

Amped-Up Hotspots

After a day of exploring iconic destinations and channeling their inner adventurer, guests can go out for a "night on the town" and find new venues added to the nightlife offered on board.

• Music Hall, a Quantum Class favorite, will take live music to the next level with revolving setlists and cover bands, ample lounge seating on two levels and room to rock out on the dance floor

• Spotlight Karaoke, the dedicated karaoke bar with both main stage and private room experiences will feature thousands of songs to choose from, music trivia and themed nights

Beginning May 2020, Allure of the Seas' 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona will visit must-see cities such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy.

Allure joins the original gamechanger, Oasis of the Seas, as the second Oasis Class ship to be reimagined in the $1 billion Royal Amplified fleet modernization program. These two revolutionary ships will steal the spotlight next year in Europe and the New York area, respectively, as the boldest summer vacations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November 2020, Allure will make its way coast to coast to Miami for the winter season. Sailing from Royal Caribbean's state-of-the-art Terminal A, the reimagined ship will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Many of the ship's Caribbean itineraries will include visits to the cruise line's new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Princess Cruises Launches Local Connections: Alaska
New for the 2019 season and celebrating the cruise line's 50th year sailing in Alaska, Princess Cruises has partnered with a team of local experts in Alaska to give guests even more exclusive and authentic experiences ashore as part of the cruise line's award-winning Local Connections program.

"Local Connections in Alaska was designed to connect our guests with the people of the destination, and offer them interactive experiences with local chefs, artists and expert guides," said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises vice president of shore excursions. "With 50 years of experience sailing to the Great Land, we know the type of shore excursions our guests desire. From cooking with an Alaskan Chef to axe throwing with Lumberjacks, we know they'll love every authentic experience and create long-lasting memories."

With a total of 15 featured shore excursions in four Alaska ports, Princess Cruises has partnered with well-known chefs, artists, wildlife experts, seafaring captains and much more. Examples include:

• Icy Strait Point - Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen with Alaskan Chef: Learn to prepare wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood in a hands-on tasting session hosted by wilderness chef Dodie Lunda. Living on a floathouse for 23 years in remote Alaska made her a creative and accomplished cook.

• Juneau - Culinary Demonstration with Alaskan Chef: Winner of 2017's Great American Seafood Cook-Off, Chef Lionel Uddipa takes local Alaska flavors and ingredients and updates them with modern flair. During the one-hour cooking lesson you can witness the exquisite creations of this inspiring chef and artist as he shares how evolving and creative cooking can be used with Alaska's bounty of fresh seafood.

• Ketchikan - Ketchikan Photo Safari with Nature Photographer: Photographers and outdoor enthusiasts will thrill to an excursion designed for the novice, as well as the professional. Led by one of three local photographers, your guide will share area history, facts and stories as you travel from six to eight different sites in a Ford transit passenger van through town and into the wild.

• Skagway - Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour Created by Madam Jan: Learn about the strong and courageous women of the past as you hear stories from Red Onion Saloon owner and "head madam," Jan Wrentmore. This excursion celebrates their enterprising spirit.

Other Alaska Local Connections shore excursions include:

Juneau
Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest Created by the Allen Family
Discover Alaska's Whales – A Small-Group Experience Created by Alaskan Captain
Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari Designed by Alaskan Photographer

Ketchikan
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Axe Throwing Challenge Created by Champion Ironjack
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour Created by Captain David Lethin
Ketchikan Pub Walk Created by Bar Historian

Skagway
Skagway Street Car City Tour with Storyteller
White Pass Rail Bennett Lake & Yukon Adventure Created by Train Historian
Hands-On Kitchen Science with Alaskan Chef
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens Designed by Glass Artist P

rincess Cruises has an expansive offering of Alaska cruise and cruisetour vacations on sale now. Guests who have booked Princess Cruises to Alaska can pre-reserve Local Connections Shore Excursions online for each port their itinerary visits, or on board with a knowledgeable Shore Excursion team member.

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Clean the World to Assist in Global Soap Recycling Initiative
Today, Carnival Cruise Line announced it is the first large-scale cruise operator to partner with Clean the World. Through this global sustainability program, nearly 40 tons of discarded soap will be collected each year to be recycled into new soap bars and distributed to vulnerable communities worldwide.

Clean the World is a global health leader in WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and sustainability dedicated to saving lives by recycling and distributing soap and other hygiene products to more than 127 countries.

As part of the program, Carnival will start collecting discarded soap from guest and crew staterooms throughout the fleet and send it to a Clean the World recycling center where the soap will be sanitized, melted down and reprocessed. Together, Carnival and Clean the World will distribute more than 400,000 new, clean bars of soap to people in need across the globe each year. The new program has already been tested on several of Carnival's ships and will be rolled out across its entire North American fleet by the end of July. It is one of multiple initiatives underway to further reduce waste disposal and recycle additional products used on board.

Through its partnership with Carnival, Clean the World will be able to expand its existing recycling program to locations throughout the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and Central America, providing life-saving hygiene services to residents in these areas as well as further support its WASH programming in the Dominican Republic.

"We're proud and honored to be the first large-scale cruise line to partner with Clean the World, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those in underprivileged communities throughout the world," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival guests use more than three million bars of soap each year. With this partnership, we'll positively impact the lives of so many people who will have access to a basic hygiene product that so many of us take for granted."

"We rely on partners to help us deliver much-needed hygiene supplies to children and families in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and South America, which are among the areas most in need of this support," says Shawn Seipler, founder and chief executive officer, Clean the World. "This incredible partnership with Carnival Cruise Line allows us to expand our outreach, putting more soap into the hands of people in need. We hope that this program will continue to grow in the future."

Clean the World has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in the death rate of young children worldwide.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.95 + 1.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.85 - 0.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.02 - 0.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.36 + 0.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - The small rope used to retrieve main" hawsers",when docking is called a "heaving" line.
courtesy of Bill Richards, Highlands, NJ


Cruise News - July 8, 2019

Carnival Corporation to Significantly Reduce Single-Use Plastics by End of 2021
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that it will significantly eliminate its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its nine global cruise line brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence.

Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands already have plans under way, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids, and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms.

The company is immediately focusing on reducing single-use plastic items not used for sanitary or public health-related purposes. As part of the company's stringent Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) Policy and to comply with national and international regulations governing cruise ship operations, there are some single-use plastic items that cannot be completely eliminated, including plastic trash can liners in common areas and sanitary gloves, among others.

"We recognize that to be a responsible global organization, a good corporate citizen and the environmental leader our guests expect us to be, we need to continue to take proactive measures to ensure sustainability is ingrained in all aspects of our operation across our nine global cruise brands," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our Operation Oceans Alive platform and this initiative to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across our global fleet are just some of the ways we are committed to continuously enhancing our operations and focus on environmental compliance and excellence. Along with the support of our more than 120,000 dedicated employees, most of whom live and work at sea, we will do our part to preserve and protect the oceans, seas and destinations we visit around the world."

Added Burke: "We know our guests share our commitment to protecting the world we live in, and we appreciate their support as we continue our ongoing efforts to be proactive stewards, ambassadors and guardians of our environment."

Underscoring Carnival Corporation's long-term goal to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence, these efforts are part of the company's expanding Operation Oceans Alive program, which promotes a culture of transparency, learning and commitment across its global operations.

Introduced in January 2018, Carnival Corporation launched Operation Oceans Alive as an internal effort and call to action to further ensure all employees receive proper education, training and oversight, while continuing the company-wide commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

In the program's first year, the corporation continued to implement innovative technology solutions for sustainability, accelerate environmental training efforts and improve communications to achieve a higher level of environmental awareness and a culture of environmental stewardship. The initiative is now being expanded externally as the platform for the corporation's commitment to achieving and sustaining environmental compliance, excellence and leadership, and will continue to expand through an increase in funding, staffing and responsibility.

Operation Oceans Alive and the company's plan to dramatically reduce single-use plastics are among a series of ongoing efforts designed to further strengthen the company's commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, as outlined in its 2020 Sustainability Goals.

In 2018, the company announced it achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule, and it is on track with its nine other 2020 sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint, while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crew members, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its nine cruise line brands, business partners and suppliers.

These efforts and others support Carnival Corporation's long-term commitment to sustainability, responsible operations and protecting the environment, and are an important part of the company's supervised terms of probation, which include initiatives such as reducing single-use plastics, and environmental compliance plan, which includes initiatives such as organizational and structural improvements to teams, equipment and procedures.

Princess Cruises Announces 2020-2021 South America & Antarctica Program
South America and Antarctica continue to lure travelers from around the world, and with Princess Cruises' 2020-2021 program, guests can discover this region of the world with unique cruising opportunities. New for 2020-2021, guests will be offered the opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020 during the 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan itinerary on Coral Princess. Cruises are now on sale.

"We make traveling to the bucket-list destinations of South America & Antarctica easy for our guests, while offering unique opportunities to explore this culturally rich and beautiful region," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "All of our Antarctica and Cape Horn cruises include four days of Antarctic Peninsula scenic cruising, immersing guests in the best of the stunning ice-bound destination."

South America & Antarctica 2020-2021 itinerary highlights include:

• Two ships – Coral Princess and Pacific Princess – sailing to 35 destinations in 17 countries on 8 unique itineraries.

• Coral Princess sails to Antarctica and South America, including a 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan cruise with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020.

• Pacific Princess circumnavigates the continent on a 90-day Circle South America roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, featuring an overnight in Rio de Janeiro during the world-renowned Carnival and calling to off-the-beaten-path destinations like Easter Island and Ilhabela.

• Opportunities to take an overland tour to visit the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu on an 18-day Andes & South America cruise.

• Overland tour to visit Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires on the 17-day Brazillian Adventure itinerary

• More Ashore overnight stays in Lima (Callao), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Cunard Celebrates Opening of Historic Exhibit on the Queen Mary
Cunard's youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth, met her ancestor, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach harbor to celebrate the July Fourth holiday. During this rare visit, Queen Elizabeth's Captain Inger Thorhauge offered a 'salute' to the historic Queen Mary by sounding her horn, and guests on both vessels were treated to a spectacular fireworks show that evening.

On July 5, 'The Cunard Story' on The Queen Mary was officially dedicated. Captain Thorhauge joined Everette Hoard, Commodore of The Queen Mary, Collette Weston, Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate Los Angeles, and John Jenkins, General Manager, The Queen Mary, for the ribbon-cutting to launch this new exhibition. 'The Cunard Story' on the Queen Mary tells the evolution of the line's remarkable 179-year history and illustrates the legacy of a brand responsible for many innovations seen today in modern day cruising.

'The Cunard Story,' a permanent exhibition, showcases the company's legacy through artifacts, photographs and film, and also features an Immigration Salon allowing visitors to explore the Ellis Island database to learn about the arrival and ships that carried their ancestors to America. Approximately one in five immigrants came through Ellis Island on a Cunard ship at the height of the immigration period during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.

The 2,081-passenger Queen Elizabeth had sailed down from her first season in Alaska and spent an overnight in the Port of Los Angeles on July 4, setting sail south to Mexico on July 5. The ship will transit the Panama Canal, call in New York City, and arrive in Halifax, NS on July 26 to meet her other sister ship, Queen Mary 2, for a celebration in the company's ancestral home.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Immersive 2020 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line announced Norwegian Jade’s Greek Isles and Italy 2020 itineraries, which will feature compelling, wish list destinations including Santorini and Mykonos, Greece and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The cruise line also announced itineraries on Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sun.

Norwegian Spirit

Following a multi-million-dollar, bow-to-stern revitalization in January 2020, Norwegian Spirit will return to Asia for a series of immersive itineraries. From May 9 through December 21, 2020, she will sail a mix of nine-to-15-day voyages showcasing the very best of the region including four new ports of call for the brand. These new ports are Beppu, Kumamoto, Niigata and Nagoya, Japan. Norwegian Spirit will also overnight in Tokyo and Kyoto (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong. During these unique itineraries, guests will have the chance to witness the historic Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; view the colorful fall foliage in Taipei,Taiwan; visit the largest temple in Shanghai, the Longhua Temple; walk the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China; or drift down the Love River in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Norwegian Sun

Following a three-year hiatus in the region, Norwegian Sun returns to Alaska on May 21, 2020 joining Norwegian Bliss, Joy and Jewel. She will offer the brand’s most extensive itineraries in the area with nine-to-12-day voyages from Seattle with calls to Sitka, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Holkham Bay, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; as well as a stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Guests can spend a full day exploring Icy Strait Point, one of the most naturally-beautiful destinations in Alaska, providing a more culturally authentic experience.

In April 2018, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet. Enhancements were made to every part of the onboard experience. The ship now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces and three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Norwegian Jade

Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, Norwegian Jade will offer a variety of one-way, 10-to-11-day Greek Isles, Italy, and Mediterranean cruises departing or returning from Barcelona, Spain; Venice, Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, where the company will homeport for the first time. These port-intensive itineraries offer guests two distinct homeports to explore and the chance to discover a new destination every day with calls to Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Messina, Italy; Olympia (Katakolon), Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Princess Cruises Announces Return of Pacific Princess to Australia
Princess Cruises has announced Pacific Princess' 2020-2021 summer line-up in Australia, with the boutique ship offering cruisers a number of unique itineraries during its four-month deployment. Prior to arriving in Sydney, Pacific Princess will also sail on an additional 10-day Tahiti voyage due to popular demand of the cruise line's return to this region

Pacific Princess' program will include an epic 90-day roundtrip Sydney voyage around South America, a 13-day cruise to New Zealand and a special 21-day sailing to remote locations in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

"The return of Pacific Princess to Australia for the region's popular summer season marks the first time six Princess ships will be based Down Under, representing one-third of our global fleet," said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president. "Our growth in this region further cements our position as Australia's leading cruise line, offering nearly 25 percent more capacity for the summer 2020-21 season than any other cruise line."

The December 2020 arrival of the 670-guest Pacific Princess coincides with the 45th anniversary of Princess Cruises' first roundtrip cruise from Australia, a voyage on the original Pacific Princess which served as the iconic backdrop and co-star of the popular TV series "The Love Boat."

New Pacific Princess 2020-21 season highlights include:

• Due to the popularity of the five, 10-day Tahiti voyages previously announced for fall 2020, Pacific Princess will sail an additional 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia voyage departing on November 24, 2020.This voyage can be combined with a new 16-day South Pacific & New Zealand itinerary sailing from Tahiti (Papeete) to Sydney for a 26-day Tahiti &

• South Pacific Grand Adventure. The 16-day itinerary departs Tahiti (Papeete) on December 4, 2020.

• Pacific Princess' arrival into Sydney coincides with Princess Cruises' 45th Anniversary of sailing from Australia. To commemorate this anniversary, Pacific Princess will sail on a special 13-day New Zealand Connoisseur voyage visiting boutique ports in New Zealand including Stewart Island, Kaikoura and New Plymouth. The voyage also offers special anniversary-themed activities and departs Sydney on December 21, 2020.

• On January 3, 2021, Pacific Princess then sails on a voyage of a lifetime, a 90-day Circle South America voyage, roundtrip from Sydney, which circumnavigates the continent and visits Rio de Janeiro during the famed Carnival festival. Options to sail from Auckland or to Brisbane will also be available. This epic voyage includes 28 destinations in 16 countries including overnights in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Lima (Callao), with maiden calls for the Princess Australian market to Santos, Ilhabela, Natal and Guayaquil.

• To round out her deployment from Australia, Pacific Princess will also offer a new 21-day Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands itinerary, departing April 3, 2021, with maiden calls to Madang, Wewak and Gizo Island. Following this unique voyage, Pacific Princess sails to Japan on a 24-day Asia & Australia visiting amazing destinations in Taiwan and Japan, including Hualien and Ishigaki.

Silversea To Open Sales For New Silver Origin
Starting on July 16, 2019, travellers will be able to reserve their suites aboard Silversea's new ship, Silver Origin, which has been designed entirely with the Galapagos Islands in mind and will be the most elegant ship to ever sail the region when it launches in summer 2020. The all-suite, 100-guest Silver Origin will embark on her maiden voyage in July 2020, unlocking the authentic beauty of the Galapagos by connecting guests with the destination through immersive experiences.

"Our unique, industry-leading offering in the Galapagos Islands is being enhanced further still for the benefit of our guests," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "From July 16, 2019, we will open sales for Silver Origin, which will enrich guests' experiences with an unprecedented level of elegance and comfort. After admiring endemic species in the wild and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Galapagos - with the guidance of local experts - guests will continue their discovery of this unique destination on board, through regionally inspired cuisine, informative lectures and various other enhancements."

Silversea's new ultra-luxury ship will continue the award-winning legacy of the retiring Silver Galapagos by alternating two seven-night itineraries between Baltra and San Cristobal, unlocking varying experiences for guests, as follows:

Baltra to San Cristobal
Aboard Silver Origin for Silversea's north central itinerary, guests will enjoy a circumnavigation of Isla Daphne Major and explorations of Darwin Bay and Prince Philip's Steps in Genovesa; Galapaguera Cerro Colorado and Punta Pitt in San Cristobal; Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez in Espanola; El Eden, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; as well as Sullivan Bay, North Seymour, Rabida, and South Plaza. Highlights of this seven-day itinerary include the chance to witness captivating wildlife species in their natural habitats, including and an abundance of marine life through various snorkelling opportunities – potentially near schools of tropical fish, turtles and impressive whitetip reef sharks; and the chance to explore unusual geological features, including lava flows at Sullivan Bay, among other experiences.

San Cristobal to Baltra
Silversea's western itinerary encompasses such points of interest as Cerro Dragon and Las Bachas Beach in Santa Cruz and a circumnavigation of Kicker Rock. The itinerary also includes Punta Vicente Roca, Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay in Isabela; Post Office Bay, Champion Islet and Punta Cormorant in Floreana; Los Gemelos, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; Playa Espumilla in Santiago, conditions permitting; Punta Espinoza in Fernandina; and Bartolome Island. Guests travelling westbound with Silversea will witness magnificent geological features, including Kicker Rock and Pinnacle Rock; enjoy a Zodiac ride to Buccaneer's Cove, which once provided a refuge for pirates; and various other unforgettable experiences.

On both itineraries, Silver Origin's guests will spend their days exploring Darwin's "Living Laboratory of Evolution," where they might spot giant tortoises, colourful marine iguanas, comical Blue-footed Boobies, energetic sea lion pups, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Hawks and Galapagos Penguins. Expert local naturalists of the highest calibre—one for every ten guests, providing the highest ratio of guides-per-guest in the Galapagos—will share their knowledge and insights, as they lead complimentary excursions. A fleet of eight Zodiac crafts—the largest in the region on a per-guest basis—and kayaks will enhance the adventure with on-water exploration.

In 2020, two special extended voyages are planned for the holiday season: departing December 19, 2020, guests will be able to travel deeper into the destination on an 11-day voyage from San Cristobal to Baltra, while a 12-day New Year's cruise will depart Baltra on December 29, 2020, concluding in San Cristobal.

"The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's greatest pristine wonderlands," said Fernando Delgado, Silversea's Vice President and General Manager of Canodros C.L. "It will be our honour to unlock the authentic beauty of this region for guests, as they journey aboard the environmentally conscious Silver Origin, enjoying the ship's understated elegance and all-inclusive comforts and luxuries."

Thoughtfully crafted to provide superlative comfort, Silver Origin's stylish, butler-serviced suites are among the most spacious in Galapagos cruising. Each features a private veranda or a Horizon Balcony to provide stunning views of the island landscape. Luxury amenities include a minibar stocked with local snacks and a range of soft and alcoholic drinks, in-suite fresh water purification system, large flat-screen television, choice of pillows, eco-friendly bath amenities, plush robes and slippers, 24-hour room service and in-suite dining, unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi, and complimentary expedition gear that includes a waterproof backpack, raincoat and premium metallic water bottle.

Silver Origin's eight suite categories include one Owner's Suite that wraps around the ship's rear section on Deck 6, offering an unrivalled panoramic view. Situated directly below, on Deck 5, are the ship's one Grand Suite and one Royal Suite, which are connecting suites that may be combined into one ideal suite for family and friends travelling together. Rounding out the most spacious accommodation options are two Silver Suites—located forward on Deck 5—each of which can be connected to an adjacent Classic Veranda Suite to accommodate groups. All of these top-tier suites feature a large veranda with comfortable outdoor furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. A first for Silversea, the Owner's, Grand, and Royal suites offer an ocean-view whirlpool bath and separate shower, accessible from the veranda (except in the Grand Suite). The Silver Suites' whirlpool bath and separate shower provide exterior views and can be accessed from the veranda.

The remaining four suite categories include one Medallion Suite, seven Deluxe Veranda Suites, and sixteen Superior Veranda Suites located on Deck 6. These accommodations are most notable for their innovative Horizon Balcony, which converts into an indoor living space with a floor-to-ceiling window. On Deck 5, there are also twenty-two Classic Veranda Suites, each with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open onto the veranda. Additionally, they offer third-guest capacity as well as several connecting suites.

With the environment in mind, Silver Origin will feature a dynamic positioning system, which will be used when the ship is positioned over a delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage. Moreover, Silver Origin's guests will be gifted a metallic reusable bottle that will leverage in-suite freshwater purifications system that convert seawater into drinking water, drastically reducing the use of plastic on board. The ship will also meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in the segment.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.42 + 0.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.89 - 5.23%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 - 0.96%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.25 - 4.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - The QE2 was on a 72 day charter to the Port of Yokohama Japan, which ran from March 30, 1989 through June 9, 1989.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - July 1, 2019

Royal Caribbean Orders Third Icon-Class Ship
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to order a third Icon-class ship for delivery in 2025.

The ship will join its two sister ships – to be delivered in 2022 and 2024, respectively – in Royal Caribbean International's fleet, an industry leader in innovation, clean technology, and breakthrough ship design.

"We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Icon-class fleet that affirms our commitment to clean-power technologies at sea," said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We've designed a class of ships powered by liquefied natural gas that leverages the latest, environmentally-friendly applications. We believe that innovative shipbuilding can reduce our carbon footprint and boost energy efficiencies to help to build a cleaner future."

"These are exciting times for Royal Caribbean, and we have an incredible partner in Meyer Turku to bring to life now three vessels of what will be a remarkable class of ships," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Building on our vision with the addition of a third order is a testament to our confidence in the innovative design and energy-efficient technology and engineering that will, without a doubt, make Icon class a game changer."

"We are very thankful to Royal Caribbean for their confidence in the Icon ship design and our ability to build such an exceptional ship even before the first Icon is delivered," said Jan Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku.

This order is contingent upon financing.

Carnival Vista’s Propulsion System to be Repaired Using First-Of-Its-Kind ‘Floating Dry Dock’
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Netherlands-based Boskalis, a worldwide leader in marine solutions, will deploy a transport vessel as a first of its kind “floating dry dock” facility to complete the repairs to Carnival Vista’s two azipods, the ship’s main propulsion system. The procedure will entail loading the ship onto a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel, Boka Vanguard, and then docking the vessel at the Grand Bahama shipyard for the repair work.

A video animation detailing the “floating dry dock” process can be viewed here www.vimeo.com/boskalis/vista.

“This groundbreaking procedure made possible by Boskalis is a revolutionary way to ensure Carnival Vista’s repairs are completed in a safe, timely and efficient manner, so the ship can resume her popular seven-day schedule from Galveston later this month,” said Lars Ljoen, executive vice president of marine operations for Carnival Cruise Line.

Boka Vanguard is expected to arrive in Bahamian waters on Friday, July 5 to prepare for Carnival Vista’s arrival on July 12. The loading, transport and repairs are expected to take approximately two weeks, allowing Carnival Vista to return to Galveston in time for her July 27 voyage and continue with year-round seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

Cunard Welcomes Back Former Bellboy - Now 100
Luxury cruise line Cunard has welcomed back one of their oldest living former crewmembers as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday in the same month that Cunard will celebrate 100-years of sailing from the City of Southampton.

November 2019 marks a century since the record-breaking superliner RMS. Mauretania inaugurated Cunard's Southampton express transatlantic service; linking the Hampshire shipping hub with New York City.

Former Cunard bellboy, John 'Jack' Jenkins MBE, who recently gave a moving speech at the D-Day commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth attended by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales and US President Donald Trump, was recently welcomed on board Cunard's iconic ocean liner Queen Mary 2 by Captain Aseem Hashmi MNM for a celebratory lunch. Whilst on board, the Captain invited Mr Jenkins to inspect the ship's bellboys – to ensure they met the high standards of 1930s Cunard service.

Queen Mary 2's crew easily passed the inspection, though Mr. Jenkins was quick to point out that working on board Mauretania was quite different to how it is today.

"I remember one of my first trips, when we sailed to the West Indies," Mr. Jenkins Recalls. "When we would arrive in port I would then have to walk around on deck with a gong, as we had no tannoy system back then, and bang the gong and say, 'All visitors ashore, all visitors ashore'."

Born at a time when ocean liners were the only way to travel, Mr. Jenkins went on to join Cunard in 1933 as a bellboy and lift operator. RMS. Mauretania was the first Cunard ship he was appointed to – the very ship that established Cunard's Southampton hub in the year of his birth.

After Mauretania was retired in 1934, Mr. Jenkins served on board the Cunard ship Ascania until the outbreak of World War II. Joining the war effort, he fought at D-Day in 1945, before returning to the UK to take up a career in the merchant navy.

"It was such an honor to welcome back Mr. Jenkins to the Cunard family," said Captain Hashmi. "It felt like a very fitting way to start our centenary celebrations, here in Southampton, and of course to congratulate Mr. Jenkins on such a special milestone birthday that he will celebrate later this year. The members of the ship's company and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to stories of what life was like on board, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so again."

Departing November 18, 2019, Queen Mary 2 will undertake an historic Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton to New York – in tribute of the century long relationship between the City and Cunard. Guests on this celebratory voyage will journey into the past thanks to a travelling maritime exhibition from Southampton's Sea City Museum, as well as a series of enrichment lectures on board. Maritime Historian and author Chris Frame, will be joined by local history expert Penny Legg, each presenting a series of unique talks about the long and illustrious history of Cunard and Southampton.

Seabourn Unveils Custom Subs To Take Travelers "Below The Surface" On New Ultra-Luxury Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is preparing to take travelers into the depths of the ocean for the first time by revealing the design and details for its custom submarines that will operate excursions for an additional charge from the line's two upcoming ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Both Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will sail to the far corners of the Earth carrying two U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7 subs designed specifically for Seabourn.

Each battery-powered sub will carry six guests as well as one pilot, who will guide the journey up to 300 meters beneath the surface to explore sunken wrecks, reefs, and view marine wildlife in their natural habitat. Guests are seated in two clear acrylic spheres flanking the center pilot's station, with an awe-inspiring perspective of the marine world just outside thanks to undisturbed and undistorted views in virtually all directions. The three passenger seats in each sphere are mounted on a rotating platform that can turn for best sightlines.

"The undersea world is often considered as the last great frontier on Earth, with more than 80 percent of the underwater realm remaining unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. "With these subs, we're going to take our guests to places that few have ever seen firsthand, leaving them with a perspective on the world around us that is jaw-dropping and will create stories to last a lifetime."

To maximize the guest experience, the subs will be outfitted with a host of optional equipment to enhance this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A 4k underwater video camera system will record the world outside while an internal video recording system will capture imagery of guests inside and their direct surroundings. Video footage can then be downloaded and projected on large screens in the Discovery Center during lectures aboard the ships. A six-function manipulator arm capable of lifting up to 32 kg (about 70 pounds) will also be mounted on the side of the sub. In keeping with the luxury experience found on Seabourn, each sub on both ships will be outfitted with custom embroidered leather upholstery, two air conditioning systems, a Bluetooth stereo system, and champagne chiller for guests looking to toast their voyage of discovery.

The subs will be operated multiple times per day in regions around the world where conditions are suitable. They will be equipped with underwater LED flood/spot lights, imaging sonar that acts as a second set of eyes, and an advanced underwater tracking and navigation system.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Four Holland America Line Ships Set to Explore the Contrasting Landscapes of South America and Antarctica in 2019-20
The exciting lands of red-hot tango; ice-blue glaciers; and lush, green jungle come to life when Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Volendam and Zaandam head to South America and Antarctica in 2019–2020. From September 2019 through April 2020, the four ships offer cruises ranging from 14 to 48 days that cover the colorful cultures and stunning scenery of this vast continent.

Guests will explore exotic and remote ports that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences like sailing on the Amazon River, strolling the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, relaxing on the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro and visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

"The contrast of cultures, climates and landscapes throughout South America is a draw for explorers seeking a wide variety on a single itinerary, and our longer cruises offer an exceptional collection of ports that highlight everything this region has to offer," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Travelers can choose from our newest class of ship Koningsdam to the more intimate Zaandam, both featuring localized activities, cuisine and rich cultural experiences brought to life throughout the voyage."

Departures begin on both coasts of North and South America including Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; Callao (Lima), Peru; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Highlights include Zaandam's full season of cruising, Koningsdam's 48-day Voyage of the Americas, the longest itinerary of the season; Amsterdam's 35-day Incan Empires; and Volendam's 30-day Amazon Explorer.

Nearly all of the itineraries feature overnight calls at some of South America's most iconic cities, including Buenos Aires; Callao; Rio de Janeiro; Manaus, Brazil; and Fuerte Amador, Panama, giving guests ample time to explore these remarkable destinations and experience the vibrant nightlife.

Zaandam's Sensational South America Season
Kicking off its extensive South America season, Zaandam embarks on a 33-day Panama Canal, Inca & South America Discovery Collectors' Voyage Oct. 16, 2019, from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro. The ship visits ports in Aruba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The sailing include a transit of the Panama Canal and an overnight at Callao.

Guests also can choose two segments of this voyage: a 17-day Inca Discovery & Panama Canal itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to San Antonio (Santiago) and a 16-day South America Passage from San Antonio (Santiago) to Rio de Janeiro.

Zaandam then sails a series of 14- or 16-day South America Passage cruises between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires through March that features calls including Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as scenic cruising in the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and around Cape Horn.

Guests longing for the ultimate white Christmas can embark on Zaandam's 22-Day South America & Antarctica Holiday Dec. 18 from Buenos Aires to San Antonio. The cruise includes calls in Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile. The sailing features an overnight in Buenos Aires and four days exploring the incredible vistas of Antarctica, as well as scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords. Guests also can embark on this itinerary Jan. 9 or Jan. 31.

Zaandam concludes its South America season with a 31-day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery Collectors' Voyage from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale. The sailing includes overnights at Buenos Aires, Callao and Fuerte Amador, as well as calls in the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Aruba and the Bahamas. For a shorter cruise, guests can embark on a 17-day segment from San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale.

Exploring Incan Empires with Amsterdam
Departing Sept. 23, Amsterdam sails a 21- to 35-day Incan Empires cruise from Seattle to San Diego down the Pacific coasts of North and South America visiting Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The voyage includes an overnight in Callao (Lima), allowing time for a visit to Machu Picchu. Holland America Line also offers a 21-day cruise from Seattle to Callao.

In addition to departures from Seattle, guests can book a 34- or 20-day segment from Vancouver; a 14- or 28-day segment from San Diego; or a 14-day sailing from Callao.

Koningsdam Embarks on a Voyage of the Americas
On March 15, 2020, Koningsdam embarks on a 48-day Voyage of the Americas from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. The cruise calls at ports in Barbados, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada. The sailing also includes an overnight in Buenos Aires.

Along with the full 48-day itinerary, guests can book nine segments: 18-, 32- or 44-day segments from Fort Lauderdale; 14-, 26- or 30-day segments from Buenos Aires; or 12- or 16-day segments from Callao.

Volendam Cruises the Longest River in the World
Conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 20, 2019, Volendam sets sail on a 30-day Amazon Explorer voyage. The ship will sail throughout the Caribbean visiting St. Bart's, St. Lucia, Barbados, Curaçao and Grand Cayman. However, the highlight of this cruise is Brazil. Guests will enjoy two weeks exploring this dynamic country with calls at multiple ports, including an overnight at Manaus at the end of the Amazon River and three full days of cruising the world's longest river.

MSC Cruises Celebrates Its 20 Millionth Cruiser
MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world's largest privately-owned cruise line — celebrated this past weekend a key global milestone in the company's history, welcoming its 20 millionth cruiser on board the Miami-based MSC Seaside.

This significant achievement is a testament to MSC Cruises' expansion since its establishment only in 2003, quickly becoming a global player with one of the highest growth rates in the industry and the introduction of 16 cruise ships over the span of 16 years. In 2019 alone, the company will have launched two new ships — MSC Bellissima in March and MSC Grandiosa in November — and will introduce its new island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, debuting in November.

"Reaching our 20 millionth cruiser is truly a milestone achievement for MSC Cruises, and a representation of how far we've come while building a global brand that serves guests from over 170 nationalities across five continents," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "With our capacity set to triple by 2027, we will continue to raise the bar in two main areas, on board and ashore, offering our guests a unique experience each time they sail with us. MSC Seaside is the perfect example of this: she is one of the most innovative ships at sea in terms of design as well as onboard experience. She also features the latest and some of the most innovative environmental technology at sea."

MSC Seaside not only complies with the highest international standards, she also received from international classification society RINA – in addition to the main class notations – its "Green Star 3 Design" certificate. RINA's Green Star 3 – the latest and most comprehensive edition of the RINA's Green STAR class notations – specifically recognizes that MSC Seaside reaches the greatest levels of eco-compatibility thanks to the relevance of the various innovative measures put in place which help reducing the environmental footprint during operations. These include, amongst others, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the advanced waste water treatment, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, the ballast water treatment system, and the ship's Environmental Management Plan.

Fleet wide, MSC Cruises' offers guests an enriching cruise vacation inspired by the Company's European heritage. On board, guests are able to meet people from all over the world, while enjoying fine dining options from world-renowned chefs, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. On land, MSC Cruises' guests are then able to discover the hidden treasures of each destination they visit through specially curated tours and one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences designed for each itinerary.

MSC Cruises maintains a foothold as the world's fastest growing cruise line with an ambitious €13.6 billion EUR (˜15.6 billion USD) investment plan in place, which will introduce a total of 17 ships between 2017 and 2027, bringing the fleet total to 29 cruise ships. In addition to continued global expansion, MSC Cruises has placed a priority on increasing its presence in North America. To this end, by the close of 2019 MSC Cruises will have, for the first time, four ships sailing from Miami — MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia (arriving to North America for the first time in October 2019), MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.

"As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the North American market, the support of and collaboration with our travel advisors is paramount to our success," said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. "We were extremely pleased to learn that Mr. Bonachea and his family were booked by one of the largest travel agency networks in the U.S., Dream Vacations, a long time dedicated partner of MSC Cruises. We look forward to celebrating this occasion with them."

Raul Bonachea, MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser, his wife and daughter, from Winter Haven, Fla., are currently sailing on board MSC Seaside for a 7-night cruise that departed from Miami on June 29, booked by Dream Vacations. To honor Raul and celebrate this exciting milestone, MSC Cruises upgraded the family to a luxurious MSC Yacht Club suite, offering the family an elevated ship-within-a-ship experience complete with a private restaurant, pool and lounge as well as 24-hour butler and concierge service. And, to toast the occasion with all of the guests on board, MSC Seaside hosted a 20 Millionth Guest Party on Sunday, June 30 in the ship's atrium, the social hub of the ship. The celebration was bubbling with complimentary champagne for all guests, a special officers' parade, an artisan cake and a special performance from one of the ship's most popular shows. The Captain joined the celebrations and toast, offering congratulations and a special gift for MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser.

"MSC Cruises is one of our valued partners and we couldn't be more pleased to learn that our Dream Vacations Travel Agent Myrna Reyes was the booking agent who sold the 20 millionth MSC Cruises customer," said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. "We are excited to be part of the celebrations of this historic milestone."

"We are thrilled to have sold the cruise voyage to MSC Cruises' 20 millionth customer," said Myrna Reyes, travel agent with Dream Vacations – Santisteban and Associates in Miami. "Our agency has long been a believer in the MSC Cruises' product. We remain convinced that the MSC Cruises' brand is a spectacular vacation product which offers consumers the most modern and beautiful ships at sea. Our Dream Vacations travel advisors are delighted to be part of this celebration. We remain loyal to the MSC Cruises' brand and look forward to being part of the MSC Cruises' story for the next 20 million consumers and beyond."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.29 + 0.63%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.07 + 0.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.04 + 2.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.82 + 3.92%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer -The s/s Constitution and the s/s Independence were the last two liners built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, MA. USA, at the Fore River Shipyard. They entered service for the American Export Line in 1951. They served on the New York-Genoa/Naples route.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - June 24, 2019

Princess Cruises Appoints Senior Officers and Staff for Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises has announced the leadership team for its newest ship, Enchanted Princess, a year before her debut. Captain Nick Nash and Captain Gennaro Arma will rotate as Captains of Enchanted Princess.

Debuting in Rome (Civatevecchia) on June 19, 2020 for a nine-day Mediterranean cruise, Enchanted Princess will be led by a team of executive officers with extensive maritime experience, including more than 160 years combined service with Princess Cruises. Captain Nash will bring the ship into service from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, joined at the launch by Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti, Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand, and Staff Captain Raffaele Di Martino.

Captain Arma will serve together with Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale, Hotel General Manager Richard Harry, and Staff Captain Richard Dalton.

"All of us at Princess Cruises congratulate Captain Nash and Captain Arma on their well-earned appointments as Captains of our new Enchanted Princess. It is an honor and a testament to their dedicated years of service," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "As we continue to grow our fleet with five new ships arriving by 2025, there are many opportunities for our crew to grow professionally. We believe we have the best crew at sea, who continually offer our guests a safe cruising experience and world-class service."

The 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the soon-to-be launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which will originally debut on Sky Princess.

In addition, guests can make the most of their vacation time with the Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device that delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a vacation that is more simple, effortless and personalized.

Enchanted Princess Leadership Team

Captain Nick Nash – Captain Nick Nash has successfully moved through the ranks at Princess Cruises over his 30-year career and currently commands the cruise line's 3,560-passenger Royal Princess. Captain Nash joined Princess Cruises in 1989, was promoted to Staff Captain in 1997 and Captain in 2002 and Fleet Captain in 2014 and 2015. He was appointed President of The Nautical Institute in 2018, pledging to help in its efforts to improve standards of shiphandling, as well as navigation bridge resource management. He was also awarded the United Kingdom's Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service. Captain Nash is also actively involved in the evolution of Carnival Corporation's simulator training facility in Amsterdam (CSMART).

Captain Gennaro Arma – Captain Gennaro Arma began his career with Princess Cruises in 1998 as a Cadet and moved up the ranks. He achieved his first command as Captain of Sea Princess in 2015 where he navigated the ship on two world cruises. He took the helm of Diamond Princess in 2018. During his time at Princess Cruises, he has been part of newbuild teams for Diamond Princess and Regal Princess. Born in the beautiful peninsula of Sorrento, Italy, Captain Arma has always been passionate about the sea.

Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti – Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti began his career at Princess Cruises in 2003 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Majestic Princess in 2018 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2019. He has served aboard many Princess Cruises ships including Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Coral Princess.

Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale – Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale started his time with Princess Cruises in 1999 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Caribbean Princess in 2013 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2017. His vast knowledge of the Princess Cruises fleet includes time serving onboard Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess.

Captain Raffaele Di Martino – Raffaele Di Martino started his career at Princess Cruises in 2004, serving as Third Officer onboard Dawn Princess. He was promoted to Staff Captain in 2017, serving most recently on the first MedallionClass vessels – Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. His career at sea began in the Italian Navy and later onboard cargo vessels, ferries and tug boats. He graduated from the Nautical School of Nino Bixio in Sorrento, Italy.

Staff Captain Richard Dalton – Staff Captain Richard Dalton began his career at Princess Cruises as a Cadet in 2001. He rose through the ranks and was named Staff Captain in 2017. Dalton's call to the sea started at just eight years old, sailing on his father's yacht, and by the age of 18 he had already gained his Yacht Masters. He grew up on the Isle of Bute, a small island on the west coast of Scotland.

Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand – Dirk Brand began his career at sea in 1998 as a Senior Assistant Food and Beverage Director during the inaugural season of Grand Princess. He has overseen all hotel functions for a variety of Princess Cruises ships, including most recently Majestic Princess and Regal Princess. He has also worked aboard the ships of sister company Cunard. Brand was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in Munich. After completing his education and apprenticeship in hotel management, he served with the Air Force in Sardinia, Italy.

Hotel General Manager Richard Harry - Richard Harry joined Princes Cruises in 1988 as a Front Desk Receptionist. He will soon serve on the newbuild team of Sky Princess when the ship debuts in fall 2019. This will be the sixth time he has been a part of a newbuild team. Harry was born in Farnborough, England and now resides in Bristol.

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Flora Christened
In a game-changing moment two years in the making, Celebrity Cruises officially launched the revolutionary new Celebrity Flora, a 100-guest, all-suites mega yacht that's poised to connect travelers to the Galapagos Islands like never before. The ship was welcomed to the brand's award-winning fleet with a sustainability-focused ceremony where executives, valued travel advisers and journalists joined the ship's Godmother, environmental advocate and former World Wildlife Fund International President Yolanda Kakabadse, in blessing the ship. In another first, a partnership was announced with EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization founded by Philippe Cousteau. Jr., to inspire young people to act now for a sustainable future.

The naming ceremony brought together distinguished guests, employees and crew members to commemorate the debut of Celebrity Flora, the first ship of its kind designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands.

"Every once in a while, a unique ship comes along in the industry and changes things, and Celebrity Flora is that ship," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The Galapagos is a truly unique destination and deserved a ship with sustainability at its core. Today was an incredibly special day, with a very special Godmother."

Fain added: "Yolanda Kakabadse has been a moral force for sustainability, in Ecuador and around the world, and we are honored to have her inspiration as Celebrity Flora sets sail."

"Our guests have never seen a destination quite like the beautiful Galapagos Islands, and the islands have never seen a ship quite like Celebrity Flora, perfectly blending intimate luxury with sustainability," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "The ship is designed to showcase this amazing destination, giving our guests incredible memories — and underscoring the critical importance of protecting our planet's fragile ecosystems."

Both Fain and Lutoff-Perlo, as well as Kakabadse, delivered passionate remarks about the ship's sustainability, cutting-edge design, and the brand's commitment to this awe-inspiring region. In a unique nod to these themes, the traditional bottle-breaking was triggered by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that used a hand-crafted ribbon made from green banana core and crafted by a collective of local female artisans known as Manos Magicas. In addition, the Ecuadorian national anthem was sung by two schoolchildren from Ecuador.

"Being here in the beautiful Galapagos Islands on board Celebrity Flora has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Charles Darwin: 'In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed,'" said Kakabadse. "Darwin was right; this is the time to collaborate with all sectors of society, and permanently innovate to seek new ways to address development challenges. Tourism can be at the center and Celebrity Flora is at the forefront."

During the event, a partnership was revealed with EarthEcho International. Celebrity and the team at the non-profit will work together to introduce a comprehensive and customized youth strategy, designed to empower a new generation of environmental advocates both in the local communities of the Galapagos, as well as aboard Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition in the region. The program will include:

• youth focused, environmental sustainability projects in the Galapagos Islands

• activities for youth as part of Celebrity's onboard program

By training, engaging and investing in youth and the local community, Celebrity and EarthEcho International will work to inspire champions for the protection and enhancement of the treasured ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Over time, the goal is to explore opportunities to expand this partnership to other regions around the world.

Philippe Cousteau Jr., Co-Founder, EarthEcho International, said: "The launch of Celebrity Flora presents an incredible opportunity for EarthEcho International and Celebrity to jointly develop a meaningful and impactful, initiative that will engage and empower young environmental leaders both onboard and in the communities of the Galapagos Islands."

Lutoff-Perlo added: "We want to leave a destination in a better place than when we found it, and we work with partners who share this mission, so joining with EarthEcho International and Philippe is the perfect partnership for us, especially as we both passionately believe that the next generation is critically important to the future of our planet."

Ceremony guests also enjoyed the chance to take part in a panel on sustainability and the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands held in the ship's stunning Discovery Lounge. The panel was designed to raise awareness of the unique environmental aspects of the destination and highlight the sustainable firsts exclusive to Celebrity Flora. Host Dr. Ellen Prager, world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert, discussed topics with a distinguished panel, including Cousteau Jr; Peter B. Ortner, Research Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; and Kakabadse.

The most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, Celebrity Flora was designed specifically to explore the Galapagos. Celebrity's signature outward-facing design concept gives guests 360-degree views of the islands at virtually every turn. The all-suite luxurious accommodations surround guests with every creature comfort, including service provided by personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea in the Galapagos, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience.

With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.

The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research – a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.

Celebrity Flora is also one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, with a 15-percent reduction of fuel consumption and equivalently fewer air emissions, thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Celebrity Flora's dynamic positioning is a first in the Galapagos. It has anchorless technology, which maintains the ship's position while protecting the sensitive sea floor system, with zero speed stabilizers promising smooth sailing throughout.

Celebrity Flora will have in-room water filtration stations and the ability to reuse air conditioning condensation to provide water to the shipboard laundry facilities. Reverse osmosis equipment will be used, so the ship can process sea water into fresh water to supply 100-percent of her needs. Plus, any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30, 2019.

Voyager of the Seas Ups the Ante Down Under With New Wave of Thrills
Adventures in the South Pacific will take on a whole new meaning with the highly anticipated arrival of a bolder-than-ever Voyager of the Seas this summer. Royal Caribbean International has revealed a USD$97 million new look with a lineup of first-to-market features for the region's debut amplified ship. From The Perfect Storm duo of racer waterslides to the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and redesigned kids and teens spaces, Voyager will tout a thrilling combination of experiences that makes for an unforgettable family holiday on this side of the world. Beginning Oct. 21, the newly transformed ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on Nov. 30.

"Royal Caribbean is an innovator in holidays, and the newly amplified Voyager of the Seas is no exception," says Susan Bonner, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International Australia and New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to welcome Voyager back to Sydney where local holidaymakers can step onboard for a holiday of a lifetime with its new bold adventures and exhilarating features. From pulse-raising adventures down high-speed waterslides on The Perfect Storm or going head to head at Battle for Planet Z laser tag – both firsts for the Australian market – to unwinding and indulging in the brand-new Vitality Spa, Voyager of the Seas offers unforgettable experiences for the whole family to enjoy."

Deck-Defying Thrills
On Voyager of the Seas, holiday-makers can dial up the adventure with newly added Royal Caribbean hits never before seen in the South Pacific.

The Perfect Storm waterslides duo – Typhoon and Cyclone – will raise the stakes with three stories of heart-pumping twists and turns. This is the ultimate ride where guests can challenge their limits and each other in a high-speed race for bragging rights. The can't-miss attraction joins returning favourites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf, to round out the ship's action-packed aft.

Family Time Maximised
The cruise line's amped-up holidays also introduce new and reimagined experiences for the whole family to spend time together and on their own while on board.

Making its out-of-this-world debut on Voyager of the Seas, Battle for Planet Z laser tag has quickly become a staple on Royal Caribbean ships. The glow-in-the-dark adventure in Studio B takes place in a universe of the distant future as two groups of thrill seekers – aliens and robots – go head to head to claim the last planet of a far-flung galaxy.

Younger guests, ranging from babies to teens, will enjoy a top-to-bottom redesign of their dedicated spaces. A fresh take on the award-winning Adventure Ocean, for kids of 3 to 12 years old, brings a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout with whimsical activities at every corner. A first on Voyager, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. Teens are in for an exclusive, updated hangout like no other on board, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation Renewed
Holiday-makers looking to relax and recharge are in for a treat at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre. Enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship, the spa and gym will offer its extensive, signature menu of services, including massages, acupuncture, manicures, fitness classes and personal training. Guests who opt to cool down poolside can look forward to a refreshed Solarium for all-day, adults-only tranquil vibes.

More highlights to make their way to Voyager include 72 new inside and balcony staterooms, a Suite Lounge and outdoor area – exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program. The reimagined ship will also feature the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Travellers can soon check in for their cruise holiday from their phone, and once on board, the app will deliver an array of capabilities. From exploring and planning activities for each day of the itinerary, and viewing onboard expenses, to booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations, guests will be able to seamlessly transition into holiday mode. Voyager will be the fourth ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernisation effort built on research and guest feedback. The cruise line's investment of more than $1 billion spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience. Introducing a robust variety of bold adventures meant to appeal to every generation, the program is a representation of Royal Caribbean's passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering unforgettable holidays.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reveals 65 Excursions Exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor
Demonstrating its commitment to offer luxury travelers an unrivaled experience, Regent Seven Seas Cruises today revealed 65 new Mediterranean and Northern Europe shore excursions curated with local tour operators debuting exclusively for guests sailing on the inaugural 2020 season of Seven Seas SplendorTM. The excursions will expand to all Regent ships sailing Europe starting in 2021.

Soar in a helicopter over the gorgeous countryside outside Monaco en route to an unforgettable meal at La Bastide de Moustiers, created by the famed French chef Alain Ducasse, or stay grounded on an electric-bike tour of La Cadiere d'Azur, savoring the bouquets of the many vintages found throughout the vineyards around Toulon, France. Tour the stunning beauty around Sorrento, Italy, and admire Caravaggio's masterpiece, The Seven Works of Mercy, on display at Pious Mount of Mercy Church in Naples, or learn under the tutelage of a master chef in Greenock, Scotland to discover there is much more than just haggis to Scottish cuisine.

"We collaborated with the best local tour operators in the region to curate unique and memorable experiences that will result in a truly unrivaled experience for guests sailing on Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Many of these excursions are being offered for the first time by our tour operator partners and are new for luxury travelers. With nearly half of these experiences included in Regent's Free Unlimited Shore Excursions program, our new offerings are one more example of how Seven Seas Splendor will perfect luxury."

Spanning across Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Montenegro, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the excursions offer excitement, deep learning and enriching opportunities, such as:

• MAGNIFICENT VILLAGES OF FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE AND L'ISLE SUR LA SORGUE.
(France) Explore two charming Provence villages in Marseille, France that revolve around the meandering Sorgue River that connects them. The river's source is a powerful spring in the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse that gushes an abundance of turquoise water through the beautiful Provençal countryside. It's the fastest-flowing water in France. Jacques Cousteau tried to reach the spring's underwater source in the 1940s but the current was so strong he turned back. Guests will see the famed spring and other landmarks in the ancient village, which has long inspired writers and artists. (Included in voyage price)

• ACOUSTIC FLAMENCO AND THE MINES (Spain)
Enjoy a unique tour of a former mine that culminates with an underground flamenco performance of songs that salute the mining industry. The Carthaginians and Romans first mined the area around the village of Parque Minero more than 2,000 years ago. Mining reached its peak in the 19th century, as guests will discover while walking through the vast complex of caves in the Agrupa Vicenta mine. The acoustics below the surface are excellent for flamenco, the soulful instrumental guitar music synonymous with southern Spain. (Included in voyage price)

• A VISIT TO AMBELONAS WINE ESTATE (Greece)
Tour a centuries-old estate in Corfu's fertile interior and sample wines paired with organic delicacies that reflect the owners' passion for preserving traditional methods of production. After departing from the pier, guests enjoy a brief, picturesque drive into the interior of Corfu, a fertile agricultural area that inspired the island's nickname — the Emerald Island. At the Ambelonas estate, guests are welcomed with a cup of herbal tea that is highly regarded for its refreshing, restorative qualities. During the tour that follows, guests walk through the estate's vineyard with one of the owners and learn about the two varieties of grapes that are grown at Ambelonas: red skopelitiko and white kakotrygis. A highlight of the visit to Ambelonas is a tasting of wines thoughtfully paired with delicacies prepared on the estate. (Included in voyage price)

• CARAVAGGIO EXCLUSIVE VISIT AT PIO MONTE.
(Italy) In Naples, marvel at "The Seven Works of Mercy," Caravaggio's exquisite oil painting that depicts seven acts of kindness on a single large canvas, while the curator elaborates on its artistic significance. With Mount Vesuvius looming in the background, guests will then proceed through town to the 100-year-old restaurant, La Bersagliera, a lovely waterfront setting for lunch.

• MUSSEL TASTING TOUR BY SPEED BOAT.
(Montenegro) Cruise through beautiful Boka Bay in Montenegro to the islet Our Lady of the Rocks and then sample freshwater mussels at a farm that grows and harvests them. The leisurely boat ride will be extraordinarily scenic, especially approaching Our Lady of the Rocks, a small, manmade islet created to commemorate the sailors from the town of Perast, which lies directly across the bay. Boka Bay is also known for producing some of Montenegro's finest mussels, and guests will enjoy an insider's look at the process at a commercial mussel farm.

• ELECTRIC-BIKE IN THE VINEYARDS FROM LA CADIERE D'AZUR (France).
Ride an electric bike from the enchanting village of La Cadiere d'Azur in France through the vineyards of the Bandol region to sample a selection of characteristic wines and be served fougasse, a crusty Provençal flat bread whose origins date to Roman times. The electronic bike allows guests to ride farther and negotiate hills with considerably less effort than a traditional bike.

Get Ready To Discover The Natural Beauty Of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
With just under four months to go until Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first cruise guests, MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based, world's largest privately-owned cruise line — revealed today more details of the unique experience that awaits visitors. The vision for the island is to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built and how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. Work is underway to design opportunities for guests to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.

The Bahamas is renowned for its beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches, and its oceans are home to a diverse ecosystem that needs to be safeguarded for a promising future. As part of the development of Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises is working to establish the roadmap for the restoration of marine resources, including habitats and species present in the area. This will include the restoration of endangered corals, and the implementation of other conservation and educational programs.

The island is situated within protected waters spanning 64 square miles, but the ambition is to further extend this parameter to ensure an even greater impact. MSC Cruises' guests will have an incredible opportunity to discover the wonders of the ocean in this special part of the world.

To better understand conservation needs and map out key environmental initiatives, MSC Cruises commissioned a Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) that provided a short term overview of the waters around Ocean Cay.

MSC Cruises has placed a priority on the restoration of coral in the waters surrounding Ocean Cay. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they maintain biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines. Now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is returning to normal. The hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive. Plans are underway to establish a coral nursery on the East side of the island with the goal of propagating even more coral, particularly the more endangered varieties.

The recent survey established that there are three types of coral that can be found in abundance — primarily Agaricia agaricites known as lettuce coral; Porites astreoides commonly known as mustard hill coral or yellow porites; and Siderastrea also known as massive starlet coral. These species are more capable of withstanding harsh temperature conditions and siltation than other species. Also found around the island during the assessment is the critically endangered Acropora palmata known as Elkhorn Coral. Four distinct colonies of this species were observed along the rocky shoreline of these cays. Over time these corals will become candidates for restoration in the coral nursery.

The Ocean Cay team is already seeing an increase in marine life in the area, and the REA identified 88 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays. An important feature of the ecosystem in this region that was assessed is the queen conch, Lobatus gigas. The conch is a large sea snail and lives in the seagrass beds around Ocean Cay and helps to keep the water clean from algal produced by seagrass. The conch is one of the most important fishery species in these waters and a symbol of The Bahamas. However, conch populations have seen dramatic declines in recent years and some of the few remaining breeding populations are those within marine protected areas in The Bahamas. Ocean Cay is a productive conch habitat, and steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the conch to thrive.

In addition to paving the way for the future of the island's ecosystem, work is well underway to finalize the guest experience and welcome the new guests in November. Every aspect of the island is being developed with the vision of creating a truly memorable experience founded in the core philosophy of the island – the discovery of nature. You can find out more about the restoration of Ocean Cay here.

The environmental philosophy of the Ocean Cay guest experience has influenced the choice of water sports. Guests will not find the typical motorized water sports but instead a range of natural ways to enjoy the ocean. This includes stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking, allowing guests to take in the uninterrupted horizon by getting out on the water.

For those who wish to discover the marine life close-up there will be the opportunity to book a snorkeling & secluded island getaway. This trip to the nearby cay will allow guests to either snorkel on their own or for an enhanced experience, follow a snorkel guide while they point out all of the colorful and exotic marine life in the area. After snorkeling, guests are then taken to a private beach on the remote cay for swimming and relaxing in the water. Space is limited, so guests should book in advance.

For those who are a little more adventurous, scuba diving will also be available with PADI qualified instructors. Guests just looking to get a taste of diving, can book a Discover Scuba Diving class to try it out in shallow waters with a PADI instructor.

Located at the Northern tip of the island in a stunning location with incredible ocean views is The Spa at Ocean Cay. This unique new luxurious spa concept has been created exclusively for Ocean Cay and is designed to immerse guests in their natural surroundings, providing a contrasting experience to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa on board MSC Cruises' ships.

The Ocean Cay spa offering will stay true to the environmental principles of the island and the products used will be from AVEDA, a beauty brand known for its natural products and environmental commitments. Guests looking for head to toe pampering can choose from different massage options and then simply relax in the stylish treatment room, listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the ocean breeze. A range of very special on-trend fitness sessions will also be available for those looking to find their inner zen. For instance, guests can choose from morning beach yoga, SUP yoga on paddle boards and sunset yoga.

As a family company, MSC Cruises offers an award-winning family offering on board its fleet, which will extend to Ocean Cay. The island has been designed to offer a family friendly experience with the Seakers Family Cove, a paradise for kids with a shallow lagoon to play in and a beautiful sandy beach for games. All of the beaches on the island will be monitored by lifeguards.

The MSC Cruises Kids Club staff will organize games and activities throughout the day at the Seakers Family Cove. The activities featuring the new DOREMI Explorer mascot are designed to facilitate natural discovery and include childhood games such as sand castle contests, kite building, treasure hunts and a family sporting challenge. There will also be dedicated teens programs including an activity in which teens learn to create content to inspire others with the beauty of the island.

The Seakers Food Court is conveniently located close by for families. Serving American classic dishes and kids' favorites, the buffet will be complimentary for guests. Other dining options available on the island include food trucks and guests can also easily return to the ship throughout the day to take advantage of the full range of dining options on board.

After a day spent unwinding and relaxing, one of the highlights of the visit to Ocean Cay will be the evening entertainment and activities. After a stunning sunset when the night falls, the area around the iconic 98 ft. red and white lighthouse will come to life. Guests will be able to enjoy a breathtaking light show that can be enjoyed from the bar, and those craving a more chilled atmosphere can watch from the beach, sitting around one of the fire pits. A traditional junkanoo parade — inspired by the historic Bahamian festival and consisting of a feast of colorful costumes, music and dancing — will get people in the party mood.

Guests will also be able to appreciate the natural environment in the evening. The remote nature of the island means that guests can enjoy an evening of unbelievable stargazing under the Bahamian sky with an astronomy-themed stargazing experience. Guests will enjoy a welcome drink as the astronomer guide, using state of the art computerized tracking telescopes, finds the most striking star clusters, planets, nebulas and galaxies on display that evening.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.00 - 12.01%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.10 - 4.18%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.83 - 4.17%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 17, 2019

Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Carnival's Mardi Gras
In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to enter service in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement as well as Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities.

Mardi Gras will be a stunning expression of the Carnival vacation experience offering a variety of groundbreaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices. Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

“This is a historic day for Carnival – the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations,” said Clement.

“We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Mardi Gras. All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer,” CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer states.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round Caribbean departures.

Carnival Corp. Issues Cuba Statement

Carnival Corporation confirmed on June 5 that due to recent changes in U.S. policy prohibiting cruise ship travel to Cuba, the company’s brands with upcoming scheduled calls there – including Holland America Line, Seabourn and Carnival Cruise Line – will no longer be permitted to sail to Cuba effective immediately.

The company said tht it is working to confirm replacement ports of call. Finalized details will be provided to booked guests and their travel advisors on or before June 15.

The company said tht it regrets that these unexpected changes necessitate altering their published itineraries and look forward to welcoming passengers on board for a memorable Caribbean cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals More Mardi Gras' Culinary & Beverage Venues
Carnival Cruise Line unveiled several exciting new food and beverage concepts aboard its highly anticipated Mardi Gras, set to debut in 2020, along with further details on the extensive offerings available within the ship's Lido and Summer Landing zones.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O'Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

"Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival. We always strive to provide our guests with the most diverse options possible, but the sheer variety of food and beverage venues on board Mardi Gras is unlike anything we've ever offered before," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our culinary and beverage teams continue to innovate, ensuring that we have an array of new and exciting options in addition to longtime Carnival favorites our guests love."

New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones

• Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats' ever-changing options are free of charge.

• RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on Carnival's popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy's Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red's Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.

• The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival's own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck. The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O'Neal's family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

• "Big Chicken is a labor of love featuring all of my favorite fried chicken recipes developed in tandem with my mom," said O'Neal. "Carnival is a great partner, and I am very excited to bring the largest Big Chicken at sea aboard the spectacular new Mardi Gras."

• Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

• Mardi Gras takes Carnival's two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:

• The largest Guy's Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;

• Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;

• Exciting entertainment such as legendary deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.

Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:

• An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;

• A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;

• Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;

• Expanded Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of Carnival's ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line's in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Spectrum Of The Seas To Overnight In Tokyo For Special Sailings In Summer 2020

In true Royal Caribbean International fashion, Spectrum of the Seas will once again raise the bar in the Asian cruise market as the revolutionary ship plans new overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2020. Built to deliver great vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier, offering guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take in the city’s vibrant energy as it comes alive during this exciting time. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region.

“Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China.

Azamara Announces the Largest Selection of Pre- and Post-Voyage Land Programs in the Cruising Industry
Azamara Club Cruises is proud to announce the debut of the largest selection of pre- and post- voyage land programs in the cruise industry. As of today, the destination-focused brand offers a total of over 1,700 land program offerings, which complement the brand's immersive voyages and further enhances its commitment to bringing guests closer to the heart of a destination. The brand's newly expanded destination portfolio, and continuous focus on Destination Immersion, marks Azamara Club Cruises' evolution to Azamara, removing "Club Cruises" from its name and debuting a revitalized logo.

The new name and logo reflect a redefined dedication to the Destination Immersion brand and deepen the brand's renewed focus on cruising and immersive inland experiences. The logo's three main features include: an open world symbol signifying infinite opportunities for world travel, and the brand's commitment to connecting guests to both iconic and off-the-beaten-path destinations; the two artistic strokes represent both land and sea experiences—the left stroke signifies the Earth and the brand's expanded inland explorations, and the right stroke represents the sea and extensive vastness that Azamara crosses; the star in the design is representative of Azamara's namesake "Acamar," which means the brightest star in the southern sky and represents the brand's 'north star'; like a compass that drives balance, direction and dependability.

"Our passion for land has allowed our Destination Immersion programming to evolve over the past 10-years, from 'You'll Love Where We Take You' to 'Stay Longer, Experience More' to now 'Explore Further'; Destination Immersion (Longer Stays, More Overnights and Night Touring) is what makes Azamara unique within the industry," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara. "This is just the beginning, we expect our land programming to grow even more as we continue to augment our services. That said, it was a natural next step to take these custom-designed destination itineraries one step further on land and adjust our overall name and expand our strategy."

Larry Pimentel continues, "Now available on every single voyage starting October 2019, and available throughout future deployments, we will provide a variety of unique curated products, which emphasize our Explore Further identity through benefits such as longer stays, more overnights and night touring. These bucket-list type experiences are all made possible in collaboration with reputable, independent travel experts to show the Azamara traveler "a whole new world."

To ensure travelers receive first-class service delivered by a specialized independent team, Azamara has collaborated with some of the world's most renowned luxury travel companies, including Cox & Kings, which will operate over 75 percent of the land programming. Other renowned luxury travel companies include: Micato, PerryGolf, Aloschi Bros, COLTUR Peru, Furlong Incoming amongst others. Propelling the brand's reputation as "the no cruise, cruise**," these independent travel experts will help expand Azamara's portfolio of Land Programs by providing guests with the opportunity to visit over 41 countries and six continents in the next two-years.

From behind the scenes to exploring with locals, Azamara's new selection of land programming will offer an extensive collection of experiences designed to bring guests deeper into the heart of local life, offering exclusivity and insider access from local guides and experts around the world.

All land packages include:

• Most breakfast and a variety of select authentic meals throughout their journey.

• All transfers to/from voyage, airport, and between land tour cities.

• Tour Directors dedicated to ensuring all details are taken care of and that a guest's trip is stress-free.

• Explorations led by local experts, such as geologists, naturalists, sommeliers, astronomers, wildlife trackers, etc.

The various Land Program options include:

AzAmazing Journeys – Intimate, Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences:

• Carefully curated programs consist of small, intimate group led by expert guides (average group size of 12-18 guests).

• Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences that indulges all the senses.

• These experiences last three to six days, with the exception of long train journeys.

• Guests will fully dive into local culture through up-close explanations and interactive experiences with local independent specialists including historians, professors and connoisseurs.

• These journeys feature AzAmazing moments, which are off-the-beaten-path experiences, and accommodations in the world's most breathtaking corners, from five-star hotels and castles to boutique inns, luxury lodges, and glamping experiences.

• Land Journeys – Unique Adventures with Like-Minded Travelers:

• These programs allow guests to see cities from different vantage points, and offers a specialized travel experience that reveals both the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of a variety of captivating destinations.

Land Journeys last anywhere from three to six-nights.

• Offer a wider group size filled with like-minded travel enthusiasts.

• Includes accommodations from four to five-star hotels to boutique inns, luxury lodges and more.

Stay Local – An In-Depth Exploration of One City:

• This programming permits cruisers, who have less time to explore but still want to experience a single destination, the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local life of a

• particular city with a two- or three-night stay in the city.

• These experiences offer an intensive crash-course in the city of embarkation or disembarkation, either pre- or post-cruise.

• Taking guests far beyond typical city highlights and immersing them in local life.

• New cities include: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Bordeaux, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, United Arab

• Emirates; Dublin, Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Hong Kong, China; Lima, (Callao) Peru; Lisbon, Portugal; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Melbourne, Australia; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Mumbai, India; Nice, France; Oslo, Norway; Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia; Perth (Fremantle), Australia; Rio de Janerio, Brazil; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southampton (London), England; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia.

AzAmazing Journey Highlights Include:

AzAmazing in Asia: In Search of Orangutan in Borneo

• Environmentally and consciously led, set out on a 2.5-hour speedboat journey deep into the jungle where eco-friendly accommodations will be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to see orangutans as they venture into the Borneo Rainforest, which is one of the few places in the world where people are able to see these magnificent creatures. The excursions will be led by local independent naturalists who will introduce travellers to the MariMari people —the area's indigenous people who rarely share encounters with tourists.

AzAmazing in Africa: Micato Safaris – What makes these amazing

• The ultimate safari where guests will experience twice-daily game drives, led by an independent ranger and potentially experience up-close viewing of the Big Five—lions, leopards, African Buffalo, Rhinoceros, African Elephant—at Kruger National Park. Not only will participants have the chance to see the beautiful preserve, they will also visit the South African winelands, river cruise on the Zambezi River, expect hippos and Nile crocodiles; and railway journey to iconic Victoria Falls for an optional helicopter flight for a bird's eye view. Luxury is certain, with stays that range from the Four Seasons to the Kapama River Lodge.

AzAmazing in South America: The Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile

• A scarce landscape often compared to "outer space destinations," the Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile, are perhaps the most arid locations on earth. Guests will experience "glamping" for two-nights in a deluxe airstream camper set amongst the salt flats, accompanied by the culinary talents of an independent local chef. In Chile, guests will indulge in a luxurious stay at the Atacama Desert Resort, which offers village visits and desert hiking.

AzAmazing in Australia: Rail & Sail Australia – Indian Pacific

• Experience Australia's stunning interior, on a train ride with Indian Pacific, through the country's rugged Blue Mountains. Traveling with the privileges of Platinum Service status—oversized cabins, nearly twice the size of others with ambrosial food and wine pairings exclusive to this service—guests will journey through the footsteps of legendary adventures, goldrush prospectors and bush pioneers. After this luxurious train journey, guests will spend a night in the Margaret River wine country, which produces over 20 percent of Australia's premium wine market.

AzAmazing in Europe: Moscow & Ekaterinburg

• Discover Russia's capital of Moscow, where guests will explore the city's highlights like the Armory at the Kremlin – one of the oldest museums in Moscow that is home to Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning from the 5th and 20th centuries – and locales such as Arbat Street – one of the oldest surviving streets in Moscow – before venturing out to Sergiev Posad to see the Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and Krasnogorskaya Square. Journey to Yekaterinburg – located Asian side of the boundary between Asia and Europe – by train, offering views of dense forests and wooden villages. A highlight of the program is "The Last Footsteps of the Tsars," which features a unique look at the Romanov family and Russia's tumultuous journey from monarchy to communism and the democracy.

Land Journey Highlights Include:

Land Journey in Europe: Norway En Route

• Starting in Oslo, guests will journey by train to Bergen, Norway's second largest city, across one of Europe's highest mountain plateaus. Making a detour in Myrdal, guests will board the Flåm Railway and experience stunning views of the seven fjords and mountains. Once in Bergen, there will be a ferry that will take individuals to Stavanger, where guests can choose to hike Preikestolen, known as the "pulupit rock," or spend time at the Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Fish Canning Museum.

Land Journey in South America: In Search of Jaguar: Pantanal

• Taking place over the course of two and a half days in Brazil's verdant Pantanal region, guests on the Pantanal Safari will have the chance to spot the area's native jaguars and other exotic creatures such as howler monkeys and black vultures. On the water, nature enthusiasts guided by an expert will delve into the area's diverse wetland biosystem, with boat trips in search of stingray and giant otters.

Land Journey in New Zealand: South Island- Alpine Rail & Mount Cook

• Guests can explore the incomparable, majestic landscape of New Zealand and discover its true beauty by railway and helicopter. Travelers will experience panoramic views of the Southern Alps, shores of the Waimakariri River, and native beech forests while on a 139-mile journey aboard the South Island train, which connects Christchurch and Greymouth. Once "sky high" in the helicopter, travelers will fly above Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's longest glacier, before the helicopter touches down gently on the snow in the heart of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, home to the highest mountains in the region.

Panama Canal Looking To Raise Fees for Cruise Ships
The Panama Canal this week published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels). Friday’s announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019.

“With this proposal, we aim to better serve the global maritime industry,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “Our proposed modifications will increase transparency and flexibility, among other improvements, to ensure the Panama Canal remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward.”

For the dry bulk segment, the proposal offers matching the tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and “other dry bulk” cargoes, as well as a tariff increase for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast.

The proposal also aims to add transparency to the tolls structure of the passenger segment by charging based on the maximum passenger capacity that can be carried by each specific passenger vessel. To that end, the Canal is proposing to change the unit of measurement from a “per berth” to a “per passenger” basis, making it easier for cruise lines to transfer transit costs to their customers.

For the containership segment—the main user of Neopanamax Locks—the proposed toll modifications will help retain and incentivize increased cargo volumes through the Panama Canal. Specifically, the proposal offers more attractive rates for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with reduced rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2 million to 3 million TEUs, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3 million TEUs. The incentive implemented in the last toll modification of fiscal year 2018 for total TEU loaded in the return voyage (TTLR) will remain in effect.

To add further transparency to the toll structure for the Vehicle Carrier and RoRo segment, the proposed modifications include—for the first time—a new tariff category or range precisely designed for Neopanamax vessels to account vessels sizes and capacity. Additional modifications for this segment include slight increments in tolls tariffs for Panamax-sized vessels, as well as minor adjustments based on vessel size ranges.

Toll structures for tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels remain unchanged, but tolls adjustments are proposed to more closely align with the value of the route.

Tolls for small vessels (minimum tolls) and for the local tourism market are being revised upwards to take into account the resources used in the transit and the complexity of accommodating these vessels within the locks’ chambers. The last tariff adjustments for small vessels were implemented in 2012.

Lastly—and based on comments submitted by clients during the 2017 public consultation and hearing process—the Canal proposes to review the rates charged to vessels carrying containers on deck, which do not belong to the container shipping segment, to allow for differentiated charges for containers that are empty, dry or refrigerated.

The complete proposal is available at www.pancanal.com/peajes. All interested parties are invited to participate in the consultation process as well as the public hearing to be held in Panama City, Panama, on July 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (local time). In accordance with established rules, the Panama Canal will consider all correspondence received by 4:15 p.m. (local time) on July 15, 2019, as well as comments and opinions presented during the public hearing.

After a careful evaluation and analysis of the comments received, and once any pertinent changes are incorporated in the proposal, the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama will officially approve the modifications. The date for implementation of the modifications to the tolls structure is planned for January 1, 2020.

Holland America Line Celebrates Grand Opening of a 99-Room Addition at McKinley Chalet Resort
Holland America Line held a grand opening ceremony for its new luxury guest accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort Friday, June 14. Officially dedicating the new Ridge View building that opened for the 2019 Alaska cruise season, the ribbon-cutting celebration was attended by Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation and plc president and CEO; Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK; Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Charlie Ball; executive vice president, land operations and customer service for Holland America Group, and several other staff members, business partners and community members. Also attending were representatives from Alaska State Senators Lisa Murkowski's and Dan Sullivan's offices and Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker.

The new 99-room addition features the first-ever junior suites at the McKinley Chalet Resort where guests stay on Holland America Line's award-winning Land+Sea Journeys. Fifty-four of the new rooms are luxurious junior suites with balconies, larger living areas and enhanced amenities including heated bathroom floors and a stunning floor-to-ceiling map of Denali National Park and Reserve.

"Holland America Line is continually enhancing our hotel offerings in Denali, and the latest addition of this incredible new building with junior suites offers our Alaska guests some of the best rooms in Denali with stunning balcony views," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Many of our Alaska cruise guests are seeking premium accommodations and culinary experiences on their land tour just like those on their cruise, so we were thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new Ridge View building at our McKinley Chalet Resort. These new rooms and suites – in addition to the amazing Denali Square we opened a few years ago with dining, shopping, entertainment, fire pits and more – create an authentic and relaxing lodge-resort experience that makes our guests' Alaska trip even more memorable."

The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line's overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition is located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park and Preserve.

The new three-story facility, named Ridge View, features junior suites and standard rooms with modern rustic-chic décor. All junior suites have balconies, so guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness while relaxing on their private deck. The first two floors have central, open-air lobbies with cozy furniture and gas fireplaces. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers so guests can take in the panoramic scenery.

The new rooms are an exciting addition to the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America Line's magnificent 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel — featuring guest rooms, dining facilities and extensive walking trails — serves as home base for all adventures in and around Denali National Park, such as the full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour included on most Land+Sea Journeys as well as optional flightseeing, ATV adventures, fly fishing, river rafting right from the hotel property and more. All accommodations feature stylish décor and premium amenities.

Alaska-based companies that worked on the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope worked with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle served as project manager.

Steps from the new rooms, Denali Square lies at the heart of Holland America Line's Denali property and is centrally located between the main area of the McKinley Chalet Resort and the riverfront guest rooms.

The largest building in the complex is Karstens Public House, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing outdoor deck seating and views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. At the center of Denali Square sits an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows and ranger talks. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater.

Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property's mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting.

Holland America Line's Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska's interior.

Holland America Line is the only cruise company to combine must-see sites such as Denali National Park and Preserve — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with rare ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska's wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.28 - 1.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.21 - 1.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 1.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.04 - 1.47%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 10, 2019

Royal Caribbean Comments On Cuba Travel Policy Change
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd today noted the U.S. government's policy change on travel to Cuba and provided a range for its financial impact.

On June 4, 2019, the U.S. government announced that effective June 5th, 2019 authorized travel to Cuba under the People-to-People program is rescinded and travel to Cuba via cruise ships is prohibited. Therefore, effective June 5th, cruise ships will no longer be allowed to travel between the U.S. and Cuba.

The company has changed the itineraries for its June 5th and June 6th departures and is determining alternate destinations for future sailings. The company's primary concern is for its guests, and the company is working closely with them to offer alternative destinations and compensation for any inconvenience.

The company estimates that the financial impact of this regulatory change is a reduction to the Adjusted EPS for 2019 in the range of $0.25 to $0.35 per share.

"While the affected sailings impact only 3 percent of our 2019 capacity, the extremely short notice period for this high yielding destination amplifies the earnings impact," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "The result of this policy change has created a short-term impact to our guests, operations and earnings; fortunately, we have many alternative and attractive destinations for our guests to choose from."

MSC Meraviglia's First Sailings From North America to Explore Eastern Canada and New England
MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class ship launched in June 2017 — hits North American soil for the first time this October, with her debut sailings from the region embarking from Manhattan to explore the best of eastern Canada and New England. Not only will MSC Cruises guests be able to discover two brand new, select itineraries, but also welcome the stunning ship to North America before she makes her way to her new homeport in Miami.

MSC Meraviglia's two itineraries from Manhattan to New England and Canada will embark on October 8 and 18.

• October 8, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting Canadian ports of call including Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Québec City, Quebec for an overnight stay. Prices start at $1,229 per person for a balcony stateroom.

• October 18, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting New England and Canadian ports of call including Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Prices start at $1,169 per person for a balcony stateroom.

IDYLLIC CANADIAN DESTINATIONS

Guests sailing on board both the October 8th and 18th sailings will visit several highlights of eastern Canada through Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Cruisers will take in the natural beauty of these Canadian hotspots right as the leaves turn to their magnificent fall colors. Destinations and shore excursion opportunities include:

Sydney, Nova Scotia: As the gateway to Cape Breton Island, the area is known for the beautiful natural scenery as well as its rich Gaelic culture. Cruisers can explore the area through the eyes of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, by visiting his former home and museum. Or, guests can sail across the Great Bras d'Or, the world's deepest channel, learn about the area's strong Scottish culture and spot local wildlife.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland: The city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world, along with spectacular ocean and mountain views. Visitors can walk along the Corner Brook stream through rolling boreal landscapes and follow in the footsteps of 18th century Captain James Cook. For an appetizing experience, savor local flavors of locally caught, fresh fish while learning about the native cultures that shaped Newfoundland.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: As the capital of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a city with a vibrant history, including a magical connection to the literary classic, Anne of Green Gables. Visitors can opt for a drive along the southern shore and admire the rolling landscape, enjoy a mouthwatering lobster lunch, or take in the history on a horse-drawn trolley.

Québec City, Quebec: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Québec City draws visitors worldwide to its innate charm. In Old Québec, guests will discover a world seemingly taken from a European painting. The streets lined 17th- and 18th-century buildings are riddled with bakers, bistros and boutiques, with breaks of cobbled squares filled with cafe tables. Cruisers can also journey to the countryside for quintessential tea with scenic views and a stop by the majestic Montmorency Falls for a photo. Those looking for adventure can even take an 8-mile bike ride to the falls, passing the Québec Yacht Harbor, crossing the Saint Charles River, and more.

St. John, New Brunswick: There is plenty to explore in one of Canada's oldest incorporated cities, including a unique phenomenon called the Reversing Falls, a set of rapids where the water of the Saint John River flows backwards when the adjacent Bay of Fundy is at high tide. Guests can also stroll through the Old City Market, Canada's oldest farmer's market and the ultimate foodie haven, or learn the art of landscape photography along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia's picturesque capital is a bustling business center with a flourishing public garden and waterfront boardwalk. Visitors can enjoy easy access hot spots like Peggy's Cove, a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay, and Cape Breton Island. MSC Cruises guests can immerse themselves in the area's history, Victorian-era landscaping and tales of 18th century pirates. Guests can also visit Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the area's distinctive architecture and craft stores, or join a local pub tour in true maritime tradition.

CHARMING NEW ENGLAND PORTS OF CALL

MSC Meraviglia's itineraries from Manhattan will also stop in several New England hotspots along the east coast of the U.S. Cruisers will enjoy the charm and vibrant city centers of these coastal towns, while dining on New England favorites.

Bar Harbor, Maine: As the gateway to Acadia National Park, one of America's most visited national parks, Bar Harbor is a charming seashore town with a mountainous landscape, lined with sea-facing cliffs and crashing ocean waves. Cruisers can delight in one of the area's delicacies, Maine lobster, for a special tasting, or take in the Victorian-style cottages in the quaint town. With several tours of Acadia National Park, guests have plenty of opportunity to see the local wildlife and incredible natural landscape.

Portland, Maine: With fishing wharves and converted warehouses full of restaurants and shops, the charming waterfront town is one of New England's bucket list destinations. Cruise guests will have plenty to do, including a guided tour of the area with a boat trip and lunch, a dedicated foodie walking tour to experience the area's down-home cooking, a drive through the area's most famous lighthouses, and more. Guests can even board a lobster boat and sail off to Casco Bay to learn about the famous Maine lobster.

Boston, Massachusetts: The buzzing city and capital of Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Guests can learn about the area's history and role in the founding of the U.S. by land or sea. Cruise guest can embark on a harbor cruise, sailing past key landmarks. Drive through Boston's cityscape, with highlights like Copley Square and the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Party began. Those looking to venture out of the city can opt for a tour of Cape Cod, where the Atlantic Ocean meets a shoreline dotted with cottages, sailboats and quaint fishing villages.

After MSC Meraviglia's two round-trip sailings from New York, she will take a 13-night journey through the Caribbean to her new homeport in Miami. Embarking from Manhattan on October 28, 2019, the ship will visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint George, Grenada; Willemstad, Curaçao; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises' private island destination opening in November 2019.

Seabourn Unveils Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, And Penthouse Suites On New Expedition Ships
Seabourn is giving travelers yet another look at more stunningly designed guest suites on its two new purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, and Penthouse suite categories are masterfully designed spaces by Adam D. Tihany, that will provide beautiful, relaxing accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship.

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn expedition experience.

"All of our spacious suites provide the expedition traveler with equal parts of adventure together with the best in luxury accommodation and service," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Seabourn's suites are created to invite guests to linger longer as we take them to diverse and remote locales around the world."

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious fittings. The ship's art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship's all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

Specific details on each of the suite categories revealed include:

Veranda Suite: The most plentiful suite category found on Seabourn ships, the veranda suite has all the luxuries for guests to make this their home away from home. Veranda suites include a separate seating area with a coffee/dining table for two, which is ideal for in-suite dining at any time of day. A queen-sized or two twin beds, spacious walk-in closet with ample room for a traveler's wardrobe, and sliding glass door leading to a private furnished veranda round out the accommodations.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)*

Veranda Spa Suite: These two suites, located on Deck 7, feature the same amenities as the Veranda Suite and include additional in-suite spa amenities and spa concierge service available in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices, perfect for guests who enjoy healthy doses of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)

Panoramic Veranda Suite: A new for Seabourn suite category featuring a semi-circular living area with comfortable seating and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows providing guests a spectacular perspective of the world outside including sweeping views from their suite. A queen-sized bed or twin beds are also oriented to face the windows, allowing guests to enjoy views of beautiful scenery and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

The bathroom features a separate shower and large soaking tub placed next to a window, providing relaxing views to the private furnished veranda and scenic outdoor landscapes.

Total space: 417 sq. ft. (39 sq. m.) including veranda of 85 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.)

Penthouse Suite: Each of the Penthouse Suites, located on Deck 8, affords a sophisticated environment that includes a living area with dining table for two to enjoy in-suite dining at any time of day, high-definition TV, large windows that bring in plenty of natural light, a sliding glass door to the private furnished veranda, and makeup vanity. A separate bedroom that can be closed off from the rest of the suite has its own high-definition TV and is adjacent to a marble-lined bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. Penthouse Suites also come with a convenient Nespresso machine with a variety of coffee choices.

Total space: 529 (49 sq. m.) including veranda of 96. (9 sq. m.)

Penthouse Spa Suite: The Penthouse Spa suite, located on Deck 7, is the accommodation of choice for the traveler who would like to stay near the onboard spa & wellness facilities. This suite features the same amenities as the Penthouse Suite along with added in-suite spa amenities in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil for the guest with wellness in mind, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices.

Total space: 637 sq. ft. (59 sq. m.) including veranda of 205 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

*Some veranda sizes vary.

Guests with disabilities will also find handicapped-accessible suites available in both the Penthouse and Veranda categories.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany's product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for public areas and all categories of luxurious guest suites, as well as a bespoke furniture collection. Additional renderings of these spaces can be found in the link here.

All suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship will include:

• A personal suite stewardess to ensure everything in your suite is always as you wish

• Private, ocean-front furnished verandas

• Twin or queen-sized bed with a luxurious custom-built mattress, fine cotton linens, fluffy all-season duvet and a choice of firm or soft pillows

• Ample storage and walk-in closets with plush terry robes, slippers and a personal safe

• An in-suite bar with a selection of beverages and requested complimentary wines or spirits

• Interactive entertainment with broadcast TV and hundreds of movie and music choices

• A bath with a full tub, separate shower and luxury products featuring an exclusive signature scent created for Seabourn by Molton Brown, London

• Complimentary PressReader app bringing favorite newspapers and magazines to your phone or tablet

• Unique to Seabourn Venture, Swarovski binoculars for guests to use during the voyage, widely regarded as some of the world's best by expedition travelers, naturalists, and wildlife spotters.

Seven Holland America Line Ships Set to Transit the Panama Canal in 2019-20
It has long been considered one of engineering's most incredible feats, and travelers looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list will have 32 Holland America Line sailings to choose from between September 2019 and May 2020. Seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.

While the Panama Canal transit is the centerpiece of the voyage, guests also have the opportunity to explore noteworthy ports throughout the Mexican Riviera, Central America and the beautiful Caribbean. Depending on the itinerary, guests can visit the lush rain forests of Costa Rica's Puerto Caldera; indulge in some leisurely beach combing on warm, sunny Aruba; discover ancient Maya artifacts in Puerto Corinto's archaeological museum; or marvel at the great Maya stone temples of Tikal from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.

"Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travelers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal's legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world's greatest modern wonders."

Witness Two Oceans in One Cruise on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from three departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; or Vancouver, British Columbia.

Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.

Explore the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 16 partial transits between October 2019 and April 2020. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal's Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Panama Canal Comes to Life with Explorations Central Immersive Travel
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings the region's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration or wine pairing event. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region.

During the transit, a local expert is on board providing commentary on the history and building of the Canal. For an up-close view, Holland America Line's spacious open bow observation area gives guests a great platform to watch all the action of a Panama Canal transit, from workers on shore to the electric mules to our hard-at-work crew members.

Panama Canal cruises feature a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Fall 2020 Itineraries with Holiday Sailings
In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle.

Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a "mouse-querade" costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids' activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree.

From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of "Frozen" snowfall.

Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com.

Sailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York

The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island's famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture.

One five-night cruise will visit Canada's charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada's oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the "reversing falls rapids." Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world's largest natural harbors.

Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California

The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region's famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing.

Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas

From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney's private island Castaway Cay.

Tropical Island Vacations from Florida

In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings.

The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.18 + 4.03%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.44 + 2.27%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 + 10.75%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.83 - 0.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
How many liners has Cunard named after Queens and what were the names?

Answer - Cunard has had 5 "QUEENS"--Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Berengaria and Queen Victoria--named after British Queens. QE2 was named after the Queen Elizabeth and QM2 was named after the 1st Queen Mary. The new Queen Elizabeth is the 5th Queen named after a "real" Queen.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - June 3, 2019

Spectrum of the Seas Celebrates Inaugural Season in China
Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, made its highly anticipated debut in China today. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship sailed into Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai after completing a 46-night Global Odyssey that spanned 17 cities. In honor of Spectrum arriving to her new home, the cruise line held a grand naming ceremony with Chinese celebrities and Royal Caribbean brand ambassadors, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, in attendance. Honored with the lifetime role of Godparents, the popular couple were on hand to name the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over all those who sail on her.

Spectrum's historic milestone is on the heels of Royal Caribbean's 10th anniversary in China. Building on years of success with Quantum and Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of the largest and most expensive cruise ship in Asia will continue to raise the bar and lead the Chinese cruise industry into a new era.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known for innovating and pushing the boundaries and Spectrum of the Seas is a great example of this," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Spectrum brings to life the best of Royal Caribbean along with specifically designed and curated experiences for our Chinese consumers."

Custom built for the Chinese market, Spectrum of the Seas features bold and unexpected experiences, including the cruise line's first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

Spectrum features a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite features a master bedroom and a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship for unparalleled ocean views, along with two additional suites for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games.

Glowing on the aft of the ship is Sky Pad, a virtual reality (VR), bungee trampoline experience, where guests can strap in, don a VR headset and be transported to another time and planet with three new games: Jump Rally, Sugar Leap and Bass Bouncer. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages and can be enjoyed without headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.

The Suite Club on decks 13 through 16 offers Royal Caribbean's first exclusive suites-only area, which features 36 Golden Suites and 106 Silver Suites. The Golden Suites and Silver Suites have exclusive access, elevator, as well as a private restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of amenities, Gold Suite guests may access The Balcony, a private outdoor space with the best views of the sea; and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping, intimate parties and wine tastings. Travelers in suites are also provided with a dedicated team of Royal Concierges who provide excellent value-added services, including concierge services, Royal embarkation, enhanced food and beverage experiences, and exclusive room service.

On board Royal Caribbean's newest ship are 33 dining options to meet the diverse preferences of its guests. The lineup includes innovative dining concepts such as: Sichuan Red, a brand-new restaurant debuting on Spectrum that features authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China; a traditional tea room and café parlor known as Leaf and Bean, where guests can enjoy a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries; Teppanyaki, offering authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan's traditional teppanyaki style; Splashaway Café, near the kids' pool area; and the Noodle Bar, which serves up freshly made noodles and live chef demonstrations.

Introduced on the Quantum Ultra Class, the main dining room has been combined into one awe-inspiring, three-level dining room with 1,844 seats. The complimentary venue also serves a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options that rotate every day of an itinerary. Vacationers looking for a more casual dining venue, the Windjammer Marketplace on Spectrum has been designed to be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships. The laidback option offers a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes.

Three new production shows developed in-house by Royal Caribbean – The Silk Road, The Effectors, and Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. are taking the stage. Each full-scale production features unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences. The entertainment doesn't end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a thrilling lineup of activities including Battle for Planet Z, an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for the whole family; Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can sing like stars; Expedition Two70, where guests can test their adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality (AR) games; SeaPlex, the multipurpose indoor sports and entertainment complex that offers activities from various parts of the world including various indoor ball games as well as fencing and archery – activities never before seen at sea in the Asia market.

Spectrum of the Seas features a bold lineup of new digital experiences, from digital room keys and automated stateroom controls, to immersive AR games. The Royal Caribbean mobile app is also available for the first time for guests in China and supports both Mandarin and English language. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented vacation experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency while offering new experiences that entertain and amaze.

Celebrity Equinox Is First Solstice Class Ship To Be Transformed By The Celebrity Revolution
The newly modernized Celebrity Equinox is officially ready to revolutionize the way travelers experience the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. The dramatic transformation — part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION — makes Celebrity Equinox the third ship to be “revolutionized” as part of Celebrity Cruises’ $500 million investment in ship-wide upgrades and breath-taking reimagined spaces, taking the brand’s fleet to the Edge.

“Celebrity Equinox holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Celebrity Cruises, and also for our guests; this one-of-a-kind ship continues to be the most awarded in our entire fleet,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now, emerging from her dramatic modernization, our guests are going to love the new, ‘revolutionized’ Celebrity Equinox even more. There is no better way to experience the Caribbean year-round than on board this stunning ship.”

On the transformed Celebrity Equinox, Caribbean cruisers will enjoy enhancements that include:

• The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, including The Retreat Sundeck, an exclusive sun-soaked hideaway, and The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club)

• The awe-inspiring Qsine (formerly Silk Harvest) will feature both the brand-exclusive Le Petit ChefTM and Friends and the original Le Petit ChefTM, two amazing dining experiences developed in partnership with TableMationTM and SkullmappingTM that bring the tabletop to life using innovative 4k technology

• A completely reimagined Passport Bar, perfect for mixing and mingling before and after dinner

• An exciting new creation, Craft Social (formerly Gastrobar), a casual spot featuring more than 40 craft beers, wine and cocktails on tap, mouthwatering comfort food favorites, flat-screen TVs, and inviting leather seating

• Refreshed staterooms and suites ship-wide with stunning enhancements designed with guest comfort in mind, now all featuring Celebrity’s exclusive eXhale bedding collection with luxurious king-sized Cashmere mattresses

• The launch of an exciting new partnership with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, featuring S.T.E.M.-focused activations and unique, first-at-sea programming offered as part of the popular Camp at Sea for young cruisers

• The interactive programming focuses on two science topics – one on the identification of and solutions related to microplastics and another on the importance and diversity of plankton to the Earth’s oceans and the environment

• Impressive digital enhancements across the ship, such as the addition of RFID lock technology and pervasive Xcelerate Wi-Fi

• Guests will also now be able to experience the brand’s industry-first facial recognition technology with the implementation of the Celebrity Cruises app, which enables smooth port arrival and expedited boarding, plus additional features including guest-to-guest chat and digital room keys

• Unique new treatments and products offered at The Spa by Canyon Ranch, including three new Signature Couples’ treatments, Dyson Supersonic blow-outs at the Canyon Ranch Blow-Out Bar, Mink and Rapid Lash services, and new customized facials by Reveal Machine, among others

• World-class retail offerings, including John Hardy Boutique, Kate Spade, and a new watch boutique featuring Shinola, Hublot and other Swiss watch brands

Celebrity Equinox’s bow-to-stern modernization began on May 4, 2019, in Cadiz, Spain. There, the ship spent a total of 29 days in the skilled hands of more than 500 engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the newbuild and Celebrity teams.

Celebrity Equinox is just the third revitalization for the brand. Celebrity Silhouette is next, scheduled for completion on January 31, 2020, with five more ships to be modernized by 2023.

Silversea Celebrates Silver Jubilee In 2019
Silversea Cruises passes a momentous milestone in 2019. Since first setting sail in 1994, Silversea has unlocked the authentic beauty of the world for almost half a million guests on approximately 4,100 voyages. Silversea's ships have completed an accumulated total of over 47,800 cruise days, while the cruise line's guests have travelled deeper on a combined total of more than 9.4 million cruise days.

Bringing innovation to the cruise industry with a truly pioneering concept, Silversea was the world's first all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line when it launched in 1994. Purpose-built Silver Cloud – the cruise line's first ship, which was unique insomuch as almost all suites included a personal balcony – was christened in Monaco on May 30, 1994, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Since then, Silversea's guests have travelled to the world's most remarkable destinations in unparalleled comfort, enjoying personalised service and an intimate atmosphere on board. Many aspects of the cruise line have evolved in the past 25 years, but these core principles have remained and today make a Silversea cruise unique.

When Silversea was founded by the Lefebvre family 25 years ago, the vision was to launch a cruise line that had a truly global reach, in the sense that guests from across the globe would discover the world's remotest and most iconic regions in superlative comfort, with a broad spectrum of destination versatility. This vision has been successfully realised, as Silversea today unlocks immersive travel experiences for guests in over 900 destinations, from pole to pole – more than any other cruise line.

Destination expertise has long differentiated Silversea Cruises, but it was the launch of Silversea Expeditions in 2008 that pushed the boundaries of discovery further than the ultra-luxury industry had previously seen: milestone voyages include Antarctica in 2008; the West Coast of Africa and the Russian Arctic in 2012; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in 2013; the Galapagos Islands, the Russian Far East, the Kimberley Coast, and the first Northwest Passage crossing in 2014; and Bangladesh in 2017. In 2019, Silversea's guests will traverse the Northeast Passage for the first time, while the cruise line will undertake the world's first ever Expedition World Cruise in 2021. Silversea's destination leadership in more iconic regions, such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, also remains as strong as ever and is predicated on deep travel experiences.

From just one ship in 1994, Silversea's guests today enjoy a fleet of nine ultra-luxury, intimate ships—and an additional five ships are on order. Following the launch of Silver Cloud in 1994, Silver Wind doubled the cruise line's capacity in 1995. Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper were launched in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Silver Explorer, the cruise line's first ice-class ship, unlocked expedition experiences around the world for guests from 2008. Silver Spirit joined the fleet in 2009, followed by Silver Galapagos in 2013 and Silver Discoverer in 2014. The cruise line's flagship, Silver Muse, was launched in 2017 and inspired a fleet-wide 'Musification'—the systematic refurbishment of Silversea's ships, which is ongoing. In 2020, Silver Origin - the most elegant ship to ever sail the Galapagos - and Silver Moon will join the fleet, followed by Silver Dawn in 2021 and the first of two Evolution Class ships in 2022.

Fine food from around the world, complimentary drinks throughout the ship, and a butler for each suite are just some of the many luxurious amenities that Silversea's guests have enjoyed since the launch of the cruise line in 1994. Since Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s acquisition of Silversea in 2018, these icons of luxury – and many others – have been further enhanced by Project Invictus, a long-term plan to grow and enhance Silversea's fleet of ships: guests enjoy complimentary, chilled champagne in their suites upon arrival and throughout the ship; complimentary sustainable caviar, available 24 hours per day; an enriched offering of canapes, seafood, berries, and fine steak cuts; and an enhanced wine list, which already comprises the largest complimentary offering at sea.

Silversea Cruises is proud to foster a family-like atmosphere and takes the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to recognise its loyal-most guests and crew—each of whom has made it possible to reach this significant milestone. The most loyal of Silversea's guests have each accumulated more than 2,300 Venetian Sail days already, which equates to almost seven years spent aboard Silversea's vessels. At its launch, Silversea began with just 25 land-based employees in Fort Lauderdale; at the end of 2018, there were 2,571 employees—comprising onboard crew and land-based employees in offices around the world.

"I feel so proud when I consider what we have achieved in 25 years," says Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's Executive Chairman. "From just one ship in 1994 to a fleet of nine vessels with at least five to come, we will soon realise the vision set out by my father when he brought innovation to our industry and founded our cruise line. I am grateful to our loyal guests, our travel advisors, and to our crew and employees—they have made this great achievement possible. We continuously work to push boundaries of travel; rest assured that this is just the beginning."

"I joined Silversea Cruises in 1994 – almost 25 years ago – when the company was six months old and had only one ship. I've been here ever since," says Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, Silversea's Chairman's Ambassador to the Venetian Society. "I feel at home. And the guests feel the same—we are a family. We want our guests to feel as though they are a part of something special. Our ships are their home away from home, as we've managed to create a wonderful atmosphere on board. A very important part of my job is to socialise with our guests and I have developed strong bonds. In fact, many guests have come to stay with my family and me in Portugal over the past 25 years, and I have stayed with them. Now, when guests come aboard, they ask if certain members of the team – from bartenders to waiters, butlers, and pool stewards – are also on the ship, as our people are as important as the destinations we visit. For me, it's easy to understand why Silversea is so special to so many people: friendliness, luxury, and service."

"I knew a Captain at Silversea and he reached out to me. I'm now in my twentieth year at the company," says Captain Alessandro Zanello, who joined Silversea Cruises in 1999. "At the time, Silversea had a fleet of just two ships, but the feeling on board was different from other cruise lines. There was a strong sense of family – among both the guests and the crew; because the ships were so intimate, there was closer interaction. This remains unchanged today. I actually met my wife on Silver Spirit in 2009, so I attach great sentimental value to the company. It's very special. One of my proudest moments at Silversea was when I got to be Captain of Silver Muse for her inauguration in 2017—I'll never forget this achievement."

Carnival Cruise Line Adds Drinks to HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature
Following the successful rollout of Carnival Cruise Line HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ feature, the company has expanded this functionality to include beverage delivery. After choosing a hand-tossed pizza with their preferred toppings, guests will be asked whether they would like a beer, soda or water to accompany their meal. To place an order, guests simply tap on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired order.

Beverage options on the app include domestic and imported beers Peroni, Miller Lite and Blue Moon; sodas including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Sprite; and bottled water, and cooked-to-order pizzas including margherita, funghi, prosciutto, pepperoni and quattro formaggi.

The add-on drink feature is now available on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, and Carnival Sensation, with plans to roll out to Carnival Victory and Carnival Elation in June, and will be available fleetwide in the coming months.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.7 million total downloads.

HUB App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account.

Princess Cruises Announces Summer of Shark Activities Onboard Caribbean Princess
Coming to life again this summer and in celebration of Discovery Channel's Shark Week, television's longest running must-see summer event airing Sunday, July 28-Sunday, August 4, Princess Cruises will once again "sharkify" Caribbean Princess with its Summer of Shark showcased on eight summer sailings, now through July 27, 2019.

As part of the cruise line's Discovery at SEA program, Caribbean Princess will be celebrating sharks all summer with a variety of activities and games that will challenge adults and kids alike on the myths and interesting facts about sharks. Shark Week programming will be available on stateroom televisions, as well as a special premier party with exclusive content available on June 15 in advance of the television airings. Premier content will also be available on 12 other ships sailing in Alaska and Europe.

"Our guests have been captivated by our Summer of Shark programming taking them on a journey to the depths of the sea to uncover the secrets of the ocean's top creature," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president entertainment experiences. "With special Shark Week touches found throughout Caribbean Princess from décor to food and beverage, we're thrilled it's become a popular celebration through our exclusive partnership with Discovery."

Children and teens will enjoy shark-themed fun in Camp Discovery youth and teen centers. Kids can turn into their favorite type of shark with glitter tattoos and shark face painting, or create arts and crafts to take home, including shark teeth jewelry and shark clay models. There is even a Family Fun Fair with special activities.

Adults and kids alike can get into the spirit with specialty cocktails and mocktails that have been creatively crafted including a Shark Attack Margarita, tropical Great Blue Shark and mocktails including a Shark Bite or Super Strawberry Shark Chum. In addition, themed food items will also be served, including shark cookies and even shark-themed food carvings on display. Guests of all ages can enjoy custom branded, photo step and repeat backdrops and green screens.

Caribbean Princess was the first ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to deliver Princess MedallionClass vacations. Enabled by OceanMedallion, a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Caribbean Princess sets sail on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale now through July 20, 2019.

Beyond these Summer of Shark themed cruises onboard Caribbean Princess, those looking to have their very shark adventure can book the ultimate adrenaline rush with Animal Planet Exclusive and Recommended excursions such as the Princess Exclusive Great White Shark Diving Encounter in Honolulu or Whale Shark Encounter in La Paz, Mexico.

Airing around the globe, Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that thrills fans of all ages with dynamic programming around these often-misunderstood sea creatures.

Cunard Collaborates with Milliner Stephen Jones OBE
With the summer season upon us, luxury cruise line Cunard unveiled a stunning millinery masterpiece designed in collaboration with the legendary milliner Stephen Jones OBE, onboard Queen Mary 2 today.

"There is something truly unique about travelling across the Atlantic onboard Queen Mary 2 for a Transatlantic Crossing. It is an experience that never leaves you and this emotional connection that guests have for this voyage, in addition to Cunard's history, provided the perfect inspiration to create this headpiece," said Jones.

He added: "I wanted to design something that was strong and bold - yet elegant and regal, like a crown. The hat is a nod to the beauty of the sea but also the glamour of ocean travel that Cunard epitomizes. The look and feel is modern and contemporary and could be for the British Social Season. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the hat being worn at Gold Cup Day, Royal Ascot in a few weeks time."

Jones has incorporated a variety of materials into the headpiece, mirroring the milliner's preoccupation with creating designs that appeal to fashionable women who are confident in their wardrobe choices. Among his clients are members of London society and some of the most legendary fashion houses including Dior.

Jones will headline Cunard's annual Transatlantic Fashion Week which departs New York on July 28, 2019, arriving in Southampton seven days later on August 4, 2019. The hat will be part of Jones' dazzling runway shows on board. In addition, Jones will offer guests insight on his distinguished career via a series of talks and Q&As. He will be joined during the fashion week by other celebrated names in the industry including Stuart Weitzman, Hilary Alexander OBE and Lindy Woodhead.

"The Transatlantic Crossing is our signature voyage and sailing on a Cunard liner has long been synonymous with style and glamour. Stephen Jones is one the most respected and innovative milliners of our generation; his participation in Transatlantic Fashion Week this July 2019 illustrates the distinctive experiences that are found only on Cunard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.12 - 0.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.70 - 2.41%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.30 - 1.95%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
How many liners has Cunard named after Queens and what were the names?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - May 27, 2019

Carnival Sunrise Officially Named
Following a $200 million dry dock that is already generating raves from guests sailing on its first cruises out of Norfolk, the transformed Carnival Sunrise was officially named today by godmother Kelly Arison – daughter of Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine – in a ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.

As a Carnival godmother, Kelly Arison carries on a family tradition – her mother, Madeleine was godmother to the ship when it first entered service in 1999, and her grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise's sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

"To be a part of Carnival Sunrise's official naming is more than I could have ever imagined and an experience I'll never forget," said Kelly Arison. "The ship is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so honored to not only carry on my family's legacy as godmother but to also use this opportunity to raise awareness for a well-deserving organization, the Ehlers-Danlos Society."

In a unique twist, the naming of Carnival Sunrise was commemorated with Arison "uncorking" a custom-made, four-foot-high confetti-filled champagne bottle sculpture designed by world-renowned and Miami-based artist Romero Britto. The one-of-a-kind bottle features Britto's signature vibrant colors, bold patterns and elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti, as well as Carnival-inspired designs. Smaller versions of the bottle will be sold onboard with proceeds benefiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society (EDS), an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Arison is a strong advocate. Carnival also made a donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities.

Kathie Lee Gifford, who has had a longstanding 35-year relationship with Carnival, took a moment to address the crowd and extend her best wishes to Arison as godmother, a role that Gifford served for two Carnival ships, Celebration in 1987 and Ecstasy in 1991.

The event included a video featuring players from the Miami Heat, of which Micky Arison is a managing general partner. In the video, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, as well as former Miami Heat player and Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal, congratulated Arison.

"The planning for this project began more than two years ago and involved 7,000 people who worked together to deliver this amazing transformation. We are so excited to welcome Carnival Sunrise to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet – she is already winning over our guests and providing so many new ways to Choose Fun," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "It has also been such a special and unique opportunity to have Madeleine Arison, who served as godmother at the original delivery of this vessel 20 years ago, pass the honor of serving as godmother to her daughter Kelly during our official naming ceremony today."

As part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise features all of Carnival's popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations with new offerings such as Guy's Burger Joint and Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; The Chef's Table fine dining experience; cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; a new WaterWorks aqua park; SportSquare recreation area; and a Serenity adults-only retreat, among many others.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises beginning in spring 2020.

Costa Cruises Introduces Urban Nordic Walking Tours
Always focused on bringing its guests unique experiences and memorable times, Costa Cruises has introduced a new activity to expand its offer: Urban Nordic Walking, one of the few sports activities suited to everyone, which can be practiced everywhere.

Until September 29, anyone booking a one-week Mediterranean cruise on Costa Fascinosa will have the opportunity to take part in 5 exciting excursions entirely dedicated to 'Nordic walking' in the cities of Naples, Palermo, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, to discover these incredible destinations from a different point of view.

Guests traveling aboard Costa Fascinosa now have a chance to enjoy this special activity as part of their cruise, helping them to restore their physical and mental balance. Following the instructions given by qualified Costa Cruises staff, they will gradually learn to make correct use of the poles and adopt the correct posture and biomechanical approach to the walk, quickly mastering the movements. Each participant will be supplied with professional poles, plus a tasty snack and energy drink, so they can truly enjoy the excursion.

In addition to guaranteeing health benefits, the urban trekking excursions made available by the Italian company are a new way to practice responsible and sustainable tourism, including pleasant walks and exciting trails, discovering unmissable natural wonders, majestic cities of art and breathtaking views.

After leaving the port of Savona, Costa Fascinosa will in fact sail to five destinations that provide this special opportunity:

Naples - starting from the picturesque harbor, the walk leads to Porta San Gennaro, the oldest gate to the Vesuvian city, and continues into the Borgo dei Vergini district, famous for its many fabulous and symbolic Neapolitan Baroque monuments. Passing through the Rione Sanità area, founded in the 16th century, the tour ends at the verdant Royal Wood of Capodimonte.

Palermo - walking along the city's narrow streets, among the colorful stalls of the Vucciria market, you'll pass by the marble sculpture of the Genius of Palermo at the Garraffo, continuing to the Quattro Canti. The third and fourth stops along the route are Palazzo Pretorio and the church of Saint Catherine, with its stunning late Renaissance style façade. After walking through the Kalsa quarter, you'll enter the wonderful gardens of Villa Giulia and then end the excursion walking along the Cala, an arched seafront promenade that surrounds to the most ancient port of Palermo.

Ibiza - the 'Nordic' walk starts on the north side of the port, crossing the exclusive Botafoc Marina to reach Talamanca and its marvellously white sand. Walking along the beach, you'll reach Cap Martinet, along slightly steep paths, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. The last stop is Cala Tranquila, the perfect destination for anyone wanting to relax away from the crowd;

Palma de Mallorca - having reached the starting point, a brisk 3-kilometer walk leads up to Bellver Castle, 112 meters above sea level, one of the greatest examples of Gothic civil architecture in Majorca. After following the circular path around the castle, it's back down to sea level, passing through the green areas of the city and finishing in the heart of the historic center.

Barcelona - starting from the Grec Gardens, the tour climbs up the Montjuïc hill, which stands 177 meters high and offers a wonderful view of Barcelona. Passing through Plaza de España, the tour continues along the most beautiful streets of the city, finally reaching the splendid Mirador del Alcalde viewpoint.

There are very few sporting activities that can boast the same features as Urban Nordic Walking, a complete, healthy and natural activity suitable for everyone: children, young people and the elderly.

The activity does not require any particular athletic preparation and offers great benefits: it is effective for weight loss and posture and promotes blood and respiratory circulation. Furthermore, its benefits are felt in all the body's functions, guaranteeing the greater effectiveness of all its systems.

Finally, an added value is its inseparable link with nature and the surrounding environment: Urban Nordic Walking allows physical exercise and the benefits of Nordic walking to be combined with a curiosity to visit and to learn about the history, art and culture of the area, accompanied by an expert tour guide. It therefore allows you to discover new urban routes with less effort and greater satisfaction, making all its enthusiasts experience the charm of discovery.

All that remains is to grab your poles and set off on a cruise with Costa Fascinosa.

Carnival Sunshine Kicks Off New Year-Round Cruise Program from Port of Charleston
Carnival Sunshine kicked off a new year-round cruise program from the Port of Charleston on Saturday, May 18. Carnival Sunshine replaces Carnival Ecstasy which is being repositioned to Jacksonville.

On its new Charleston-based route, Carnival Sunshine will operate a diverse schedule that includes four- and five-day sailings to the Bahamas, six- and seven-day voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean, and the first-ever Cuba cruises from Charleston with a series of five-day sailings calling at Havana. There are also longer 10- and 11-day Carnival Journeys sailings that visit spectacular Caribbean islands and offer special onboard programming including local cuisine and entertainment and fun activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

Carnival Sunshine is the newest year-round ship ever homeported in Charleston offering a wide range of onboard features and facilities. These include food and beverage options such as Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar. Outdoor spaces are just as impressive with a stunning three-level Serenity adults-only retreat with its own pool, a suspended ropes course that is part of the expansive SportSquare outdoor recreation area, and WaterWorks aqua park highlighted by dual Speedway Splash racing slides. Carnival Sunrise also offers a huge array of accommodation choices with nearly 500 balcony staterooms and more than 50 suites.

Charleston is an important part of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Carnival sails from 20 different North American homeports providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport.

Carnival launched Charleston’s first year-round cruise program in 2010 and the departures attract guests from across the Southeast and other regions. Carnival and other cruise operators generate $131 million in direct expenditures and account for nearly 2,400 jobs and $93 million in wages toward the South Carolina economy.

With Carnival Sunshine repositioning to Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy shifts to year-round departures from Jacksonville, operating four- to seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean. In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, repositions to Port Canaveral to operate a new four- and five-day Caribbean/Bahamas schedule from the Space Coast.

Royal Caribbean Announces Additional Quantum of the Seas Singapore Sailings For 2021
Royal Caribbean International today announced that one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary ships, Quantum of the Seas, will add a new homeporting season in Singapore, sailing in the region till April 2021. The additional season of seven months will be the cruise line’s longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship. Sailings onboard Quantum of the Seas for the 2020/21 season will open for sale the week of 3 June 2019.

The announcement was made during a celebration for the arrival of the cruise line’s newest and largest cruise ship in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas. The first in Royal Caribbean’s newest Quantum Ultra class of ships, purposefully designed for the Asia market, her arrival marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region, with both Spectrum and Quantum of the Seas sailing from Singapore in 2019.

Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President International, Gavin Smith, said that Royal Caribbean’s commitment to bring in two of the world’s largest and most innovative ships in 2019 alone – along with the decision to sustain the presence of a Quantum Class ship in the region till 2021 – underscores Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the region’s thriving cruise industry, with Singapore playing a major role as a cruise hub.

“Royal Caribbean has big ambitions for Asia – and Singapore sits at the heart of our growth in this region. The additional homeporting of Quantum of the Seas in the 2020/21 season announced today will add some 180,000 guests to the Singapore cruising scene, and we are excited for them to experience our world-class, innovative ships.

“We mark a new era of cruising for both Royal Caribbean and the region in 2019. We’re celebrating 50 years of bold innovation as a global brand, and ships like Spectrum of the Seas and our additional capacity with Quantum of the Seas shows that we are poised to continue riding on Asia’s astounding growth. Singapore plays an important role as one of the region’s most significant cruise destinations, and we look forward to growing the cruise industry here and in the region.”

“We are pleased to welcome Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas, and look forward to Quantum of the Seas’ new homeport season in Singapore, both of which add to the diverse cruise offerings in the region. The latest deployments are also a testament to years of strong partnership with Royal Caribbean, and its confidence in the region’s growing demand for cruising as a holiday option,” said Ms Jeannie Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Policy and Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board.

Spectrum of the Seas kicks off her inaugural Singapore season this month, with three sailings out of 3 to 9 nights to destinations such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Hong Kong. She will be based in Shanghai from this June.

The ship comes with first-at-sea features such as Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience, and the two-level Ultimate Family Suite with an in-room slide, as well as new innovative dining and entertainment concepts, on top of the iconic Quantum Class favourites, such as the North Star elevated glass capsule, skydiving simulator and bumper cars.

To celebrate the maiden call, plaque exchanges were conducted between Spectrum of the Seas’ Captain Charles Teige and Chairman of Singapore Tourism Board, Mr Chaly Mah, as well as Mr Lionel Wong, CEO of SATS-Creuers Cruise Services Pte. Ltd.

cheduled to return in November 2019, Quantum of the Seas will first see 34 sailings during the six months from November 2019 to April 2020. The ship will then return for a longer season in October 2020, with a total of 40 sailings over seven months till April 2021– the cruise line’s longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship.

The smart ship Quantum of the Seas currently offers the ‘North Star’, an observation capsule that rises 92 metres over the ocean; ‘Two70’ – a hi-tech entertainment venue; cocktails served by robots at the ‘Bionic Bar’; skydiving and surfing experiences; and ‘SeaPlex’, the largest indoor activity space at sea – housing a basketball court, roller-skating, bumper cars and more. The ship also boasts 18 dining venues with cuisines from around the globe, including imaginative cuisine at Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Holland America Line Introduces New EZpay Program
Holland America Line’s new EZpay makes it a breeze to budget for a dream cruise vacation and pay it off over time. EZpay spreads out the cruise balance into equal, interest-free monthly payments leading up to final payment. The plan gives guests the flexibility to pay for their cruise at their own pace, with the ability to opt out at any time without penalty.

Nearly all of Holland America Line’s worldwide itineraries are eligible for EZpay, as long as they are not within the final payment deadline. Following the payment of a cruise deposit, EZpay charges a supplied credit card once a month to pay for the cruise balance in full by the final payment deadline, and there are no additional fees.

“We continually look for ways to enhance our guests’ experience even before they step foot on one of our ships, and EZpay allows the flexibility to pay off their cruise at their own pace,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Cruising is the best vacation value there is, and EZpay makes it possible for our guests to book their dream vacation now and conveniently budget it over an extended period of time.”

Guests can choose the date of the monthly charge and a confirmation is sent following each payment. Extra funds also can be added to a payment, with the remaining balance recalculated into equal amounts.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.61 - 1.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.68 + 0.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.38 - 0.91%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - May 20, 2019

Oasis of the Seas Set For Royal Caribbean's Largest Amplification Yet
The ship that revolutionized the cruise industry, Oasis of the Seas, marks its 10-year anniversary with a larger-than-ever, $165 million amplification. The first to introduce the unique seven-neighborhood concept and one-of-a-kind AquaTheater entertainment venue, Royal Caribbean International's original gamechanger will set a new standard for family vacations with first-to-brand experiences and the latest Royal Caribbean hits. Guest favorites making their way to Oasis as part of the 63-day modernization include a reimagined, Caribbean-inspired pool deck that will feature a Splashaway Bay kids aquapark and The Lime & Coconut signature bar; famed Quantum Class staple, Music Hall; the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea. Debuting alongside this lineup is the cruise line's first barbecue concept, Portside BBQ, and dedicated karaoke venue Spotlight Karaoke. The amplified Oasis will set sail on Nov. 24, 2019, beginning 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Royal Caribbean's new, state-of-the-art Terminal A in Miami.

The architectural marvel will break even more records when she heads to the Big Apple in May 2020 as the largest ship to sail from the New York area. Oasis will reposition to her new summer home at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, offering 7-night sailings to The Bahamas with visits to Royal Caribbean's newly transformed private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"When Oasis of the Seas debuted as the world's largest and most groundbreaking cruise ship a decade ago, the typical cruise vacation as the world knew it was forever changed. Today, our Oasis Class ships continue to lead the industry and attract vacationers new to cruising," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Now with the opportunity to disrupt the industry once again, we've gone all-in with our biggest and boldest amplification yet. Oasis will turn heads when she arrives to Miami this November and the Northeast in May 2020."

Iconic Top Deck

For all-day Caribbean vibes, guests need look no further than the reimagined Pool and Sports Zone. The transformed neighborhood will feature new ways to relax, celebrate and plunge into adventure, joining the popular twin FlowRider surf simulators, nine-deck-high zip line and twin rock-climbing walls.

The adrenaline is turned all the way up with heart-pumping additions, including the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story test of courage and the tallest slide at sea; and The Perfect Storm, an action-packed trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell. For the youngest, the most thrilling Splashaway Bay at sea yet is to come, with a Splash Pad for tots, three waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and the first-ever twin drench buckets.

At the center is the new Caribbean-style pool deck with The Lime & Coconut. The signature bar will be one of the liveliest spots on board, day and night, with poolside cocktails, DJs and live music across two locations. Every pool is only as good as its places to chill, and Oasis will deliver a larger variety of seating and shade, including comfy casitas, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats, new whirlpools on the top deck, and a refreshed Solarium for the adults.

Mouthwatering Dining

The boldest Royal Amplified modernization to-date will introduce various new dining venues that will further diversify Oasis' 23 specialty and complimentary options.

Royal Caribbean's latest culinary creation and first-ever barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ, will offer an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States. From smoked marbled brisket, pulled pork and chicken, to beef ribs and burnt ends, the casual eatery on the pool deck will tie it all together with classic sides – including mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread, baked beans and coleslaw – and down-home desserts such as the Banana Dream and a brownie cookie mashup.

Across the way, guests can find Mexican grab-and-go fare at El Loco Fresh, serving up made-to-order tacos and burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and salsas galore. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will anchor the lineup in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood. With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, tournaments, an Owner's Box VIP room, bar fare and ice-cold brews, Playmakers is where everyone in the family wins. Sugar Beach, with more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window, is the icing on the already-tasty offering on board Oasis, which includes Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table and Izumi.

Chart-topping Hot Spots

Nights out will take on a whole new meaning on board the newly amplified Oasis. The new Spotlight Karaoke on the Royal Promenade is where budding singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the dedicated karaoke venue's main stage or one of two private rooms.

First introduced on Quantum of the Seas, live music venue Music Hall will make its Oasis Class debut. A roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, pool tables and intimate loungers across two levels give vacationers ample room to end the night on a high note at a place where every seat is the best seat in the house.

Rounding out the list of go-to hot spots is the dynamic duo of robotic bartenders that will mix, muddle, stir and shake cocktails nonstop at the Bionic Bar. The new venues join nightlife favorites on board, including Boleros, Schooner Bar, Blaze Nightclub & Comedy and English pub Atlas & Globe.

Family Time Redefined

Oasis will, yet again, redefine family vacations with a bold combination of programming that brings families together while also providing ways for everyone – from parents, to kids and grandparents – to enjoy time on their own.

Babies, kids and teens are in for a reimagination of their dedicated spaces, enhanced from top to bottom and amplified with technology to offer interactive, personalized and unexpected experiences. Adventure Ocean will receive a total makeover, with newly designed areas organized by activity type and created to fully immerse kids and their families in the adventures they choose based on their interests. Returning offerings include a nursery for the youngest of travelers, and a specialized area with programming for kids 3 to 5 years old. Teens can rejoice in their more off-the-grid hangout. With exclusive features like a "hidden" entrance, gaming lounge, movies, music, and a new, laidback outdoor deck, teens are free to engage however and whenever without interruption.

Adding to the variety of activities, featuring ice skating and mini-golf, Oasis will challenge friends and foes with a new glow-in-the-dark laser tag game, Clash for the Crystal City. Two clans, the Yetis and Snowshifters, must go head-to-head to claim the crystal city and defeat impending extinction. At the new Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18, the year is 1973 and travelers must come together to launch Apollo 18 to the moon by solving every mind-bending puzzle before time runs out.

Oasis of the Seas is the first of the cruise line's renowned Oasis Class – the world's largest cruise ships – to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. Rooted in research and guest feedback, Royal Caribbean's investment of more than $1 billion in the program spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience to bring new thrills and signature experiences designed to appeal to every generation.

Seabourn Venture Inaugural Season Itineraries Announced
Seabourn announced this week that between July 2021 and April 2022, Seabourn Venture, the line's first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship will visit a vast number of breathtaking locations and remote destinations in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in the Amazon, Caribbean, Central and South America and more, offering guests the unique opportunity to experience ultra-luxury expedition cruising and exhilarating adventures.

The new itineraries include 25 immersive voyages, ranging from seven to 22 days, featuring ample opportunities for travelers to discover diverse wildlife, soak in spectacular scenery and nature, and learn about each region's colorful history and culture. The ship, which offers all ocean front veranda suites, is scheduled to visit more than 150 unique and fascinating destinations across the globe – many of which few travelers have ever been – and over 65 new or notable destinations with a multitude of new and compelling expedition experiences. Additionally, select voyages may be combined to create sailings of up to 30 days in length.

"We have thoughtfully and carefully designed these expedition itineraries to not just visit but also provide the best authentic destination experiences in some of the most interesting and hard-to-reach locations in the world," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Along with the ultra-luxury lifestyle we are known for, Seabourn Venture's amazing and immersive voyages will deliver the ultimate ultra-luxury expedition travel experience that our guests will cherish forever."

Highlights of Seabourn Venture's expedition itineraries in 2021 and 2022 include:

The Arctic and Northern Europe
Following the ship's delivery in June 2021, Seabourn Venture will kick off its maiden season in Northern Europe and the Arctic, where guests can explore the seasonal extravagance in the northern polar region, visit Viking ruins, view whales, walrus and seals up close, bike the winding lanes of the outer British Isles, and trek to waterfalls and shining blue-white glaciers.

The ship will embark on a 10-day pre-inaugural "Highlights of the English Channel" cruise departing July 5, 2021, from Lisbon, Portugal, with stops along the northern French coast, England and Belgium before sailing up the River Thames to Greenwich (London), England. The sailing will be followed by a 12-day inaugural "Northern Isles & The Viking Homeland" voyage from Greenwich to Tromso, Norway, departing July 15, 2021, and exploring the beautiful outer British Isles and the majestic Norwegian fjords.

Seabourn Venture will spend the rest of the season through September exploring the Arctic. The ship will sail on five 10- to 15-day voyages in the region, visiting many far-flung locations in Svalbard, the North Cape and other locations in Norway. Other destinations include Iceland; Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, the most remote and least-populated destinations explored during Seabourn Venture's Arctic season.

Among some of the new destinations the ship will visit in the Arctic region are: Scoresby Sound, Greenland, home to the largest and longest fjord system in the world; Sermilik Fjord, located in southeastern Greenland and renowned for the many icebergs that flow from multiple glaciers at its head into the Denmark Strait; Svalbard, Norway, where, if conditions permit, the ship may sail along the edge of the North Polar ice cap, home to diverse wildlife that have adapted to and this unique environment such as polar bears, whales, seals, rare arctic birds and more; and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, the eastern entry to the Northwest Passage and home to narwhals and belugas and a million nesting birds at Bylot Island.

Caribbean, Central America and South America
Following Seabourn Venture's expedition voyages in the Arctic, the ship will make its way south in October 2021, stopping at various exotic locales in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. During three 10-to 14-day voyages, there will be opportunities to explore in Zodiacs under teeming bird cliffs, kayak among tropical coral islands, visit ancient Inca sites, and snorkel unspoiled Caribbean coral gardens glittering with iridescent fish.

Seabourn Venture will stop at several new locations in this region, including Pio XI Glacier in the Chilean Fjords, which is the only glacier in Patagonia that is growing – at a rate of 50 meters per day - rather than shrinking, and Jorge Montt Glacier in the Aisén Region of Chile at the north end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Guests may also spend a night in Puerto Natales, where a climb of Dorotea Hill provides a lookout from above that may include a sighting of the majestic flight of the condor that nests on the vertical walls of the hill.

Antarctica
Beginning in November 2021, Seabourn Venture will spend the austral summer season at the southernmost continent. The ship will offer nine exhilarating voyages, spanning 11 to 22 days, and provide the ultimate authentic experience on the Antarctic continent and islands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Guests can experience these amazing surroundings by Zodiac, kayak or even from the unique submarine perspective of the underwater world; view different species of penguins, seals and whales; visit sites of historical and geological interest; gain first-hand insights into regional scientific research; enjoy scenic cruising of spectacular waterways and passages. The exciting schedule features voyages departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, including a 21-day "Ultimate Holiday Antarctica & South Georgia" cruise departing December 14, 2021.

For the first time, Seabourn Venture will call at multiple new locations in the Falkland Islands. These outer, remote and wind swept islands are home to nearly 65 percent of all black browed albatrosses on the planet. Based on the day's weather and most favorable anchorage positions, Seabourn Venture may call at the following islands: the remote Saunders Island, the site of Port Egmont, which is the first British settlement in the Falklands established in 1765; Steeple Jason Island, a remote, protected nature reserve highly prized for its exceptional abundance of wildlife, including the largest colony of black-browed albatrosses on Earth, as well as penguins, southern giant petrels and king cormorants; West Point Island, where guests have the opportunity to meet the Napiers, the island's only occupants whose great uncle established the farm in 1879, and visit the rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatrosses and other wildlife; and New Island, one of the most remote of the inhabited islands, lying on the western fringe of the Falklands Archipelago and supporting some of the largest concentrations and diversity of wildlife in the Falklands, with more than 40 species of nesting birds.

The Amazon
Between March and April 2022, Seabourn Venture will set sail on a series of five seven- to 12-day expedition voyages in the Amazon, where guests cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous Amazon villages. The voyages will explore varying environments shaped and differentiated by the Amazon River itself. These can be divided into three major regions: Flooded Forests and Blackwater Tributaries – Manaus, Brazil to Rio Jutaí; The Frontier Amazon – Rio Jutaí to Leticia, Colombia; and The Seaport in the Jungle – Leticia to Iquitos, Peru.

On April 30, 2022, Seabourn Venture will return to Europe with a 12-day "Western European Waterways" cruise from Praia, Ilha de Santiago, Cape Verde, to Greenwich, England, stopping at the Canary Islands, Morocco, Portugal, France and Belgium. On select itineraries in the Arctic and Antarctica, guests will fly into a designated city where a hotel overnight and charter air to the embarkation port the next day will be included. Similarly, select itineraries will include a charter air flight at the end of the voyage from the disembarkation port to a city where flights are more readily available. These include voyages that begin or end in:
• Longyearbyen, with air to/from Oslo • Kangerlussuaq, with air to/from Reykjavík
• Ushuaia, with air to/from Buenos Aires

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Carnival Paradise Rescues Stranded Mariner Off the Coast of Cozumel
Continuing a longstanding tradition of assisting mariners in distress, Carnival Paradise came to the aid of the operator of a small boat that was sinking.

While en route back to its homeport of Tampa, Carnival Paradise was alerted of a small craft in distress with one person in the water while the ship was 13 miles north of Cozumel.

Carnival Paradise reversed course, lowered a rescue boat, brought the mariner onboard and provided food, water and medical treatment. Carnival Paradise personnel coordinated with Mexican authorities to transfer the mariner, a Mexican national, to a ferry boat and take him ashore. He was in good condition.

Carnival Paradise was on a four-day cruise that departed on Thursday from Tampa and returned this morning.

Norwegian Encore Gets Hull Artwork
Continuing the tradition of iconic hull art on its award-winning ships, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Norwegian Encore’s has received her hull artwork. The hull design is the work of renowned Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo. Set to debut in Miami in November 2019, Norwegian Encore will be the fourth and final ship in the fleet’s Breakaway-Plus class.

A representation of his modern and abstract style, the ship’s hull features a labyrinth of color inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona and pays tribute to the vibrant guest experience Norwegian is known for.

“Eduardo’s design will be a perfect complement to the collection of hull artwork within our fleet and is a testament to the dynamic experience our guests will have on board,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are proud to welcome him to our Norwegian Cruise Line family.”

Recognized for his inventive and humanistic approach to abstract art, Arranz-Bravo’s work is showcased throughout the world and portrays a constant evolution that some refer to as futuristic. He is highly regarded, having been the recipient of countless awards and accolades, and was one of three artists chosen to represent the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is a dynamic, pioneering company known for its innovative experiences and breathtaking collection of beautifully designed ships,” said Arranz-Bravo. “I am honored to not only bring that vibrancy to life even more on Norwegian Encore but also showcase my love for the ocean and my hometown of Barcelona.”

Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, played a key role in the selection of Arranz-Bravo as the hull artist for Norwegian Encore, having been inspired by his work for many years.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Kicks Off Inaugural Alaska Season
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth kicked off the company’s return to Alaska today in their West Coast homeport of Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth will sail four ten-night roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver in 2019, and ten voyages in 2020, calling at Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, Skagway, and more.

To celebrate this inaugural season, Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge, Master of Queen Elizabeth, along with Simon Palethorpe, President, and Josh Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, of Cunard, welcomed aboard dignitaries from the Port of Vancouver for a traditional Plaque and Key ceremony welcoming the ship to the city and exchanging gifts.

It was announced today that during Cunard’s expanded 2020 Alaska season Queen Elizabeth will visit the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay during its 2020 Alaska voyages, with only Cunard offering a selection of 10, 11 and 12 day round trip voyages from Vancouver in 2020 that soak up the majestic and pristine drama of both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, two jewels in the crown of the region. Sailing to Glacier Bay National Park is an iconic experience, highly rated by cruise passengers and a highlight of Alaska. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay covers over 58,000 acres comprised of vast glacial fjords and peaks, and showcases some of the continent's most awe-inspiring scenery and wilderness.

The 2020 program will run from June-September, offering a variety of nine to 12 nights as well as a getaway cruise to San Francisco for an overnight stay on the 4th of July. The Alaska voyages will feature longer time in ports such as Ketchikan, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, and others.

In other experiences only to be found on Cunard, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Alaska with Cultured Heritage Guides on every sailing. For relaxation, guests can indulge in Mareel Wellness & Beauty (Cunard’s new holistic spa concept) on every voyage, offering oceanic treatments and meditation rituals inspired by the wilderness. And as night falls, with the backdrop of Alaska, guests will enjoy the unique sense of occasion with an Ice White Ball in the spectacular Queens Room on every voyage.

“We are thrilled to launch our inaugural Alaska season today in Vancouver,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Our guests now have the opportunity to sail into this spectacular region with the luxury and style of being on a Cunard ship. With Glacier Bay added to our 2020 Alaska itineraries, our guests will have an even more dramatic front-row seat to witness the immense beauty of the region.”

Carnival Teams Up With World-Renowned Harlem Globetrotters
Carnival Cruise Line announced today an exclusive partnership with the world-famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, serving as the group's official cruise line sponsor worldwide.

Combining the Harlem Globetrotters' high-flying athleticism, theatrical stunts and comedic acts with Carnival's role as the family cruise leader, the two ambassadors of fun will bring a new level of excitement to more than 150 of the team's shows across the country.

The Harlem Globetrotters' always entertaining exhibition games will be enhanced by Carnival's signature brand of fun through in-game integrations, giveaways and joint marketing efforts such as a designated Choose Fun Zone seating area with branded signage, playful décor, special player interactions and more. This partnership will also provide Carnival with traditional marketing assets to support their charitable partners' initiatives.

To celebrate the partnership, Carnival is launching an exclusive "Trot the Globe" sales event from May 21 – 23 which can be accessed at https://www.carnival.com/.

A video shot on board Carnival Horizon featuring Harlem Globetrotters stars Hammer Harrison and Dragon Taylor showcases the dynamic duo's impressive skills as they make shots from high above Carnival's SkyRide aerial attraction and Lido Deck. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Ke36j-QUMto.

"For more than nine decades, we've used basketball as a means to bring laughter, joy and fun to our fans worldwide," said Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president. "When we heard about the opportunity to partner with cruise industry leader Carnival, we couldn't wait to use our combined love of entertaining audiences to make our games more fun and memorable than ever."

"The Harlem Globetrotters are synonymous with fun, helping families create wonderful memories – and our brands align so well together," said Scott Becher, vice president, head of partnerships for Carnival Cruise Line. "We look forward to seeing how everyone will 'Choose Fun' Globetrotters-style."

Inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and known for their incredible dribbling, shooting and dunking skills as well as their crowd interaction, the Harlem Globetrotters have performed for more than 148 million fans in 124 countries since their inception in 1926. Now performing 400 shows each year, the team has become a worldwide icon and pioneer in the sports industry showcasing some of the best basketball players in the world.

Carnival AirShip Flies Kicking Off Month-Long Aerial Tour Of The Northeast
Carnival Cruise Line's #ChooseFun AirShip is heading east to celebrate the start of summer and the New York debut of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise, kicking off its month-long tour with an appearance at the ship's official naming ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on May 23.

Over the subsequent four weeks, the 128-foot-long AirShip will visit locations across all five New York boroughs, New Jersey and Philadelphia, flying over many popular landmarks and events. AirShip's first week will include visits to Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn followed by classic summer vacation hot spots Fire Island, Coney Island and Staten Island for Memorial Day weekend, and a week in Long Island. AirShip will then spend the first week of June flying over New Jersey before concluding its northeast tour in The Bronx and Brooklyn.

"Seeing how successful our West Coast journey was earlier this year, we knew we had to get the East Coast in on the fun," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We plan to do New York in a big way this summer as we take the region by sea and air with summer sailings of the beautiful Carnival Sunrise and AirShip enticing fun seekers to Choose Fun with a Carnival cruise."

Carnival's AirShip has a bigger and better charitable component than ever before, as well. Encouraging fans to engage with AirShip on social media, for every person who posts a photo of the colorful blimp using the hashtag #ChooseFun, Carnival will make a $10 donation to its longtime charitable partner St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, up to a maximum donation of $20,000, helping in the ongoing fight against childhood cancer.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October 2019. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises in spring 2020.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.38 - 0.76%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.11 + 1.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.93 - 6.06%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.89 + 1.09%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - The first ship in the NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line) fleet was the Sunward...not to be confused with the Sunward II.
courtesy of Carlos Ortega, Miami, Florida


Cruise News - May 13, 2019

Celebrity Takes Delivery of the Celebrity Flora
The first ship designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands – Celebrity Cruises’ revolutionary Celebrity Flora – is preparing to embark on its transatlantic journey to its new home in the diverse archipelago following an intimate delivery ceremony.

In honor of the significant moment – a culmination of more than two years of planning and 18 months of construction – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain hosted a ceremony aboard Celebrity Flora, while docked in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Company and shipyard executives were also in attendance, plus more than 70 crew members, many of whom are Ecuadorian natives.

“The delivery of Celebrity Flora is a momentous occasion,” said Fain. “Designing a new ship specifically for the Galapagos Islands was an exciting challenge and we think Celebrity Flora succeeded beautifully. It is of course luxurious – but it’s also the most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, which further demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and protecting the vital ecosystem of this unique place.”

“More than two years of planning, collaboration and construction have led to this very exciting moment,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of architects, artisans, engineers and more, we’re one step closer to the first-ever sailing of the beautiful Celebrity Flora, which will forever change the way guests experience the Galapagos. Travellers will soon be able to step on board our stunning 100-guest mega yacht with the largest and most luxurious all-suite accommodations in the Galapagos Islands.”

The most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora was designed specifically to explore the Galapagos. The new ship will feature Celebrity’s signature outward-facing design concept, giving guests 360-degree views of the islands, and all-suite accommodations – including an unprecedented 50% Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda – with service provided by personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience.

Celebrity Flora will have the highest ratio of Certified Naturalists per guest (1:9) in the Galapagos, who will offer travellers an in-depth experience with certification by the Galapagos National Park, recognizing their extensive educational training and commitment to maintaining the pristine nature of these islands.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30. Bookings are open for the ship’s alternating seven-night inner and outer loop itineraries and selection of 10-, 11-, and 16-night packages, which feature either pre- or post-cruise expeditions.

Seabourn Unveils Premium Suites On New Expedition Ships
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line, has given travelers their first glimpse of the premium suites on its two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, the Wintergarden, Signature, and Owners Suites are masterfully designed spaces that will provide beautiful and relaxing luxury accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship along with a number of enticing amenities only available to guests who book the Premium Suites category.

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn Venture experience.

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn wool blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious bronze fittings. The ship's art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship's all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany's product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

"Each of these stylish suites offers a warm, welcoming environment and features thoughtful design touches that create subtle memories of the experience on their own," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "After a full day of activity, perhaps off the ship with our expedition team taking in nature's splendor, guest suites will be the perfect place to rest or relax before the evening's insightful recap or the next big adventure."

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for public areas and all categories of luxurious guest suites, as well as a bespoke furniture collection. Additional renderings of these spaces can be found in the link here.

Specific details on each of the Premium Suite categories revealed include:

Two-story Grand Wintergarden suite: Perfect for extended families and friends looking to share their travel experiences, the Grand Wintergarden provides the ultimate in accommodations. A brand new suite layout for Seabourn, this expansive apartment-style suite stretches over two decks and is located midship. Two suites in this category are available on Seabourn Venture, with the entry on Deck 7 opening to seamless double height views and a generous lower level living area that is large enough for entertaining with a dining table for four, separate guest bath, and pantry with wet bar stocked with a customized selection of spirits including a bottle of coveted Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey, which is based on the spirit supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition, expertly crafted using a selection of the finest Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. The lower level also features a second bedroom and bathroom with separate tub and shower.

A sculptured staircase leading to the upper level takes guests to the master bedroom with a queen-sized Duxiana Axion 15 adjustable high-performance sleep system positioned to face expansive windows, allowing guests to soak in the abundant scenery and vistas beyond. The upper level also features an expansive wall of closets, along with advanced technology including a roll-up LG OLED TV that tucks away to preserve the views to the world outside. Guests will find a separate walk-in closet adjacent to the five-piece bathroom complete with a whirlpool spa tub and separate shower.

Wintergarden suite guests will also be able to enjoy wildlife and vista spotting using a Swarovski ATX Interior spotting scope. The tripod-mounted scope, with its 25-60x85 lens capability, is offered for use in-suite while onboard and provides a unique perspective to the world outside via tried-and-tested optics.

The entertainment experience in the Wintergarden suite features a high-end Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5 speaker system and Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth headphones for guest use onboard.

Total space – Grand Wintergarden: 1,397 sq. ft. (130 sq. m.) including two verandas totaling 206 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

Wintergarden Suite: The Wintergarden Suite includes the same features as the Grand Wintergarden without the additional bedroom and full bathroom on the lower level.

Total Space – Wintergarden Suite: 1,042 sq. ft. (97 sq. m) including veranda of 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m.)

Signature Suite: The Signature Suite is the perfect accommodation for the adventurer who prefers an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Each of these two available suites, located on Deck 8, features a foyer entry opening to an inviting living area with a high-definition TV, dining table for four, guest bath, and pantry with wet bar, while a series of large windows wash the suite with natural light.

The separate bedroom features a queen-sized bed, makeup vanity, generous closet space, and a glass door leading to a large curved veranda that includes its own canopied whirlpool spa tub, sun loungers, sofa, and chairs. A five-piece bathroom with a separate shower and tub rounds out the suite.

Total space – Signature Suite: 1,382 sq. ft. (128 sq. m.) including veranda of 595 sq. ft. (55 sq. m.)

Owners Suite: Located on Deck 7 forward, each of the two Owners Suites on Seabourn Venture offers commanding views of the ship's course and the world beyond. As guests enter, a large closet provides the perfect place to store gear and personal belongings. The suites embrace expedition travelers in a comfortable living area with high-definition TV, writing desk, and dining table for two, perfect for meals in-suite at any time of day. A glass door leads to a curved veranda with sun loungers and a table for four, making it an ideal place to share stories with fellow guests.

The separate bedroom with queen-sized bed has its own high-definition TV, a large window, makeup vanity, and a walk-in closet. The five-piece bathroom is designed with multiple doors that can create a half-bath, and also features a separate shower and bathtub.

Total space – Owners Suite: 1,027 sq. ft. (95 sq. m.) including veranda of 484 sq. ft. (45 sq. m.)

All Suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship include amenities such as a personal suite stewardess, walk-in closets, interactive entertainment, and use of Swarovski binoculars.

Carnival Dream, Carnival Valor to Kick Off New Cruise Programs From Galveston and New Orleans, Respectively
Carnival Cruise Line announced this week that it is expanding its short cruise offerings from the region with Carnival Dream repositioning to Galveston and Carnival Valor to New Orleans.

Carnival Valor will launch four- and five-day cruises to Mexico from New Orleans May 11, with Carnival Dream offering a similar program from Galveston beginning May 13, becoming the largest Carnival ships ever to offer year-round short cruise programs from these ports.

Four-day long weekend cruises depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays calling at Cozumel and Progreso. Some five-day itineraries from Galveston feature Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Each of these stunning Mexican destinations offer world-class beaches, excellent shopping and dining experiences and opportunities to visit historical attractions and landmarks, including centuries-old Mayan ruins. A wide variety of “fun in the sun” shore excursion choices, from paddle-boarding and ziplining to ATV adventures and watersports like scuba diving and snorkeling, is also available.

Carnival Dream and Carnival Valor offer a wide range of onboard features, including hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites, top-rated children’s programs and captivating entertainment such as the award-winning Playlist Productions shows. There’s plenty of outdoor fun and relaxation as well with deck parties, poolside watering holes like the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, corkscrew water slides and more.

HAL's Westerdam Explores Eight Countries in Asia During 2019-20 Season
The cosmopolitan cities and rich traditions of the Far East unfold for guests on Holland America Line's Westerdam when the ship embarks on its 2019-20 season in Asia. From September 2019 through April 2020, Westerdam extensively explores Cambodia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam on cruises ranging from 13 to 16 nights.

Departing from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; and Singapore, the contrasts between the ancient and the modern come to life as cultures steeped in tradition collide with soaring skyscrapers and bustling capitals. Nine different itineraries showcase the magic of each country and celebrate the histories and trendsetting modern cultures that have been thousands of years in the making.

"For many of our guests, a cruise to Asia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we build our itineraries to include multiple countries or in-depth explorations of an area and create meaningful and deep encounters on every voyage," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Having such an extensive season allows us to visit those lesser-explored ports that offer an incredible glimpse into local cultures, along with the must-see larger cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore that are equally as memorable and fulfilling."

Westerdam begins the season with a 13-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Yokohama (Tokyo). The ship then begins a series of voyages that explore the Far East, from Japan to Singapore.

The 13-day Japan and China cruises from Yokohama to Shanghai include three ports in Japan; three calls in China, including an overnight at Tianjin (Beijing); and one call in South Korea. Westerdam's 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise from Shanghai to Hong Kong starts with an overnight in Shanghai and includes five ports in Japan; Manila, the Philippines; and two ports in Taiwan, with an overnight in Keelung (Taipei).

Westerdam's 14-day Far East Discovery cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong call at four ports in Vietnam, including an overnight in Da Nang; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Ko Samui and an overnight at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.

The 14-day East Asia cruise is roundtrip from Hong Kong and includes two calls in China, including an overnight in Shanghai; two calls each in Japan and Taiwan; and a call at Manila.

Celebrating the first cruise of 2020, Westerdam embarks on a 16-day Far East Discovery voyage Jan. 16 that follows the same itinerary but adds an overnight in Hong Kong.

Westerdam's 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise between Hong Kong and Shanghai visits the Philippines, South Korea, two ports in Taiwan and four calls in Japan.

Cruising roundtrip from Shanghai, the China, South Korea and Japan cruise features four calls in China, including overnight calls at Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing), and two calls each in Japan and South Korea. The China Explorer from Hong Kong to Yokohama includes two ports in Japan and five ports in China, with overnights in Tianjin (Beijing) and Shanghai.

Westerdam's Japan Explorer is a roundtrip Yokohama journey with six additional ports in Japan, including an overnight in Kobe (Osaka), and two calls in Taiwan. Then a Japan and Russia itinerary roundtrip from Yokohama visiting an incredible eight ports in Japan and a northerly exploration up to Vladivostok, Russia. The final cruise of the season is a 16-day North Pacific Crossing on April 25, 2020, from Yokohama to Vancouver.

Royal Caribbean Unveils Entertainment Lineup on Spectrum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International, the leading largest global luxury cruise ship line has pulled back the curtain on the entertainment lineup for its newest ship Spectrum of the Seas. The signature productions, developed in house by Royal Caribbean, the largest entertainment producer in the world, will feature unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

“Technology is the frontline of entertainment and we are pushing those boundaries on Spectrum of the Seas to create exceptional live performances in our theaters,” said Nick Weir, Senior Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “We use advanced robotic programming and state-of-the-art digital and audio technology, alongside highly trained, world-class performers and aerialists to create an immersive story and unforgettable show for the whole family.”

Tech-Centered Entertainment in Two70

Two70 will feature next-generation entertainment that seamlessly fuses performance art and technology. With its signature Vistarama technology, which transforms the 270-degree panoramic windows into a projection surface that measures 135 feet wide and 22 feet tall, the iconic venue at the aft of the ship presents spectacular digital art, from iconic city skylines to larger-than-life waterfalls, that takes form in surprise and delight programming. In addition, a troupe of six, agile Roboscreens come to life in perfect sync with music, special effects and multi-talented live performers, to awe guests with stunningly visual shows that can only be seen while sailing onboard Spectrum.

The Silk Road, an original production created by Royal Caribbean International exclusively for Two70, will take center stage on Spectrum. The incredibly rich and diverse cultures, colors, music and visuals of this famous trade route will come to life as guests are taken on a mystical journey. Combined with world-class, state-of-the-art entertainment technology with the Vistarama and Roboscreens, the audience will be transported into this stunning chapter of human history. Headlining the Main Theater

Seating 1,300 guests, the magnificent Royal Theater is home to Spectrum of the Seas’ two new production shows:

• The Effectors introduces guests to four new superheroes with the power to change the world: Captain Coreo, the leader of the pack, has the power to control all forms of movement and motion; Lume, a sassy and dynamic super girl, has the ability to control light, laser and all things visual; Pixel is beautiful, sexy, enigmatic and the most mysterious one of the group who has the total control over video imagery and projection power; Reverb is the most unpredictable and hardest to control, whose power is enormous, as he can control sound and all things audio! The four superheroes unite their powers to fight the evil enemy, Crash, as he tries to stop the show and the world.

• Showgirl! Present. Future. takes guests on the iconic journey of the ultimate entertainer – the Showgirl. Presented in the Royal Theater, the show combines next-generation choreography, incredible vocal performances, lavish costumes, and cutting-edge lighting and video effects to deliver an entertainment experience that will stimulate all senses.

With Royal Caribbean, the entertainment doesn’t end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a lineup of fully produced events, parties and activities.

• Sky Pad – a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship. Guests strap in and don their VR headset to transport them to another time and planet. Battle for Planet Z – an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure brings two teams of eight head-to-head in an out-of-this-world adventure to determine who will claim the last planet in the galaxy.

• Expedition Two70 – test your adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality games. Raise temples, blast ruins and more on your quest to recover ancient masks and complete your quest.

• Star Moment – a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars

• SeaPlex – the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea provides sports experiences from various parts of the world, including China’s national game – table tennis; American style basketball; roller skating originated from Holland; fencing, a popular sport with the upper class of Europe; and modern archery, originated in the UK. SeaPlex also will host new augmented reality walls and floors, providing guests with thrilling, high-tech interactive experiences.

“Entertainment is an important aspect of the vacation experience,” said by Dr. Zinan Liu, President for China and North Asia Pacific Region, Royal Caribbean International. “Royal Caribbean continues to push boundaries, not only in the cruise experience but in our entertainment as well. On Spectrum of the Seas we will launch three new shows simultaneously, plus a series of hi-tech games, interactive experiences and sports facilities, that will provide a distinctive vacation experience for our guests.”

Spectrum of the Seas was designed and built to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience for all guests. The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships will boast Royal Caribbean International’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea. Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she sails from Shanghai starting in June 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.78 - 3.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.89 - 5.64%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.99 - 1.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.29 - 5.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - Cunard Line's MEDIA, built in 1948....but the stabilizers were added later
courtesy of Nick Williams, New York City


Cruise News - May 6, 2019

Royal Caribbean Opens $250 Million Private Island In The Bahamas
Unlike any private island the world has ever seen, Royal Caribbean International's highly anticipated Perfect Day at CocoCay – the first in the cruise line's new Perfect Day Island Collection of next-level private destinations around the world – is now open. The $250 million transformation of the line's private island in The Bahamas debuts a combination of first-of-their-kind thrills and one-of-a-kind ways to chill that forever changes what is possible in a vacation destination. From plunging down the tallest waterslide in North America and traveling up to 450 feet in the air in the Up, Up and Away helium balloon, to conquering the Caribbean's largest wave pool, thrill seekers can find plenty of ways to put their courage to the test. For those looking to relax, Perfect Day features the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon; and pristine, white sand beaches with crystal-clear tropical water, so guests of all ages can create their perfect beach day – no matter what that may look like.

"Royal Caribbean is the proven leader when it comes to pushing the envelope in cruise ship design and the experiences offered at sea," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With Perfect Day at CocoCay, we are so proud to bring our 50-year legacy of innovation ashore to transform an incredible island that now completely revolutionizes private destinations in the vacation industry. It is exciting to see what we have dreamed up finally come to life; our guests truly are in for an experience unlike any other."

Following a grand opening celebration over the weekend, the new Perfect Day at CocoCay is now offering endless discoveries and shareable moments that make for the perfect combination of experiences. Perfect Day at CocoCay is exclusive to guests of Royal Caribbean. From ports in Florida and the Northeast, vacationers can visit the private island destination by sailing on 11 of the global cruise line's innovative and adventure-packed ships, featuring a series of firsts, such as surfing, skydiving, ice skating and the tallest slide at sea.

Daredevils Wanted at Thrill Waterpark
At the heart of Perfect Day at CocoCay is Thrill Waterpark, daring the most adrenaline-seeking guests to conquer two brag-worthy towers with 13 waterslides – as well as the Caribbean's largest wave pool and the Adventure Pool with a family friendly obstacle course. Key features include:

• Daredevil's Tower – Guests can push their limits on seven exhilarating single-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil's Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America. Additional highlights are the twin Dueling Demon drop slides, launching riders from a vertical position; the Manta Raycers, where friends can race down twin open flume slides; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; and the coiling Green Mamba, a massive aqua tube slide.

• Splash Summit – Adventurous families will share the thrill with six multi-rider slides, including The Slingshot, a zero-gravity slide for four; The Twister, a winding tube slide for two on a tandem raft; and the four-lane Splash Speedway racing slides.

• Wave Pool – Vacationers can ride the tide at the largest wave pool in the Caribbean, where a timer on the back wall counts down to the start of big waves.

• Adventure Pool – This interactive obstacle course on water features floating lily pads, a rock-climbing wall and two swing ropes for guests to bounce, climb and swing to their heart's content.

Above and Beyond with Up, Up and Away
On Up, Up and Away, everyone scores a view unlike any other from a colorful helium balloon securely tethered to the ground by cable. The signature attraction floats up to 450 feet above Perfect Day at CocoCay, allowing guests to take in the island from the highest vantage point in The Bahamas and capture the ultimate selfie with the private island and the pristine blue waters of The Bahamas as their backdrop.

Playing it Cool at Oasis Lagoon
Guests can explore the coves of Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean – whether looking to spend time with family, share a few cocktails with friends or simply sit back under the tropical sun. Sunbathers can make their way through three distinct coves, each with a vibe of their own, and swim to the beat of the underwater sound system. Families with small children can splash through water features and jump right into the excitement at the kid-friendly beach entry. On the south side of Oasis Lagoon, pool-goers can sip a frosty Coco Loco at the expansive swim-up bar, catch some sunrays on one of three swim-up islands with in-water loungers, or treat themselves to total relaxation in a private cabana, complete with its own cabana attendant.

Dining Harborside
At Captain Jack's, the island hangout and meet-up spot, guests can grab a drink at the rowboat bar, settle into a rope swing seat or snack on the house specialty – chicken wings and fries dipped in signature sauces like mango-habanero and Caribbean jerk. Live jams and harborside views put vacationers in an island state of mind in no time. For more delicious eats, vacationers can also head to Skipper's Grill for complimentary lunchtime favorites like salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, fresh fruit and desserts.

Small Hands on Deck at Captain Jill's Galleon and Splashaway Bay Perfect Day at CocoCay features an array of exciting features for kids of all ages. From three dry slides and 16 water cannons, to rope features and a splash pad, Captain Jill's Galleon is an interactive play structure loaded with swashbuckling thrills.

Splashaway Bay, the coolest aqua park at sea, is breaking out beyond the deck and coming ashore as the largest one yet. Kids can enjoy bigger adventures than ever before with more fountains, sprinklers and geysers – plus two massive drench buckets and five waterslides, including three racers. Located along the harbor between Captain Jack's and Skipper's Grill, this complimentary attraction offers plenty of seating and tables for families.

High-Flying Hangout at the Zip Line
Leave cares on the ground and soar on the 1,600-foot-long zip-line course that crisscrosses the island, beginning near the arrivals plaza and ending across the harbor.

An Out-of-Office Oasis at Chill Island
Miles away from ordinary with pristine, crystal-clear tropical waters and white powder-like sand is Chill Island, the island escape travelers dream about. Chill Grill, the largest dining venue on the island, serves up beachside dining at shaded picnic tables on the sand. Guests can also find beach day favorites here, including snorkeling, jet-skiing excursions as well as plentiful cabanas and daybeds for relaxation under the shade. Add in beach bars with roaming bartenders, and guests will truly wish they lived here.

It's Game on at South Beach
Vacationers can fuel their competitive fire on the action-packed South Beach with volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer and paddle boarding. After working up an appetite, grab a bite at the Snack Shack or wade out to the floating bar to cool off with a drink. If relaxation is the game plan, beachfront cabanas are perfect for lounging in the shade.

Elevating the Perfect Beach Day
Among the final experiences to be completed, Coco Beach Club is set to open in December. Here, travelers will experience an upscale take on the island's authentic Caribbean vibes.

• Overwater Cabanas – The first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas will offer discerning guests a new level of laidback luxury. Each with its own slide into the ocean, overwater hammock, shower and dedicated attendant, the exclusive cabanas will have everything vacationers would want for a day of complete indulgence.

• Infinity Pool – Spanning an expansive 2,600-plus feet, this beachfront infinity pool is at the center of Zen with in-water loungers.

• Club and Deck Area – Beachside cabanas and daybeds will provide a private slice of paradise. Elsewhere, guests can enjoy an exclusive dining venue that serves up freshly made

• Mediterranean fare with a side of ocean views.

Carnival Magic and Carnival Conquest Reposition to Port Everglades and PortMiami, Respectively
Carnival Magic has repositioned from PortMiami to its new homeport of Port Everglades while Carnival Conquest is now sailing from PortMiami. Both ships launched new cruise programs that provide guests with fresh and exciting cruise vacation choices from South Florida.

On their new schedules, these two ships will visit top destinations throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas, with Carnival Magic operating six- and eight-day cruises and Carnival Conquest offering week-long departures.

Both ships offer a wide range of on-board experiences such as splash-tastic water slides, dining options that range from casual choices like Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, expansive health and wellness centers and unique beverage concepts like the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

When going ashore in tropical destinations, guests can visit centuries-old historical sites, enjoy a variety of dining and shopping opportunities, and, of course, relax on world-class beaches.

Royal Caribbean Marks Construction Milestone For Odyssey of the Seas
Excitement was in the air at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, today, as Royal Caribbean International marked an important milestone in the development of Odyssey of the Seas. Scheduled to be delivered in fall 2020, Odyssey received its first block as the keel was officially lowered and put into place.

The keel laying marks an important milestone in the development of Odyssey of the Seas, as it signifies the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. During the ceremony, a 79-ton block was lifted into the building dock with an 800-ton crane.

Newly minted coins were placed under the keel, which then stays in place until the end of construction. Once the ship is nearing completion, the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship’s Captain and crew, to be placed on board the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction and then to its Captain and crew when she is at sea.

Odyssey of the Seas’ deployment and itineraries will be revealed later this year.

Holland America Line Launches Navigator Mobile Phone App Across Entire Fleet
Leveraging technology to further personalize the cruise experience, Holland America Line is expanding the functionality of its popular browser-based Navigator tool into a user-friendly, free app for mobile phones and tablets that can be used on board. iPhone and Android users can download the Navigator app from the iTunes App and Google Play stores, respectively.

Using Navigator, guests can plan daily activities, explore and book shore excursions, view restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view spa treatments, check their account statement and more. Expected to be the most popular feature is the chat function that enables guests to communicate with each other for free while on board.

"The Navigator app makes it easy for our guests to personalize their cruise experience from anywhere on the ship — whether they want to make a reservation at a specialty restaurant, see what the evening entertainment is or create a daily schedule with reminder notifications," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "The most exciting function of Navigator is that it allows our guests to chat with each other for free, which makes it easy to stay connected and make plans with fellow travelers throughout the cruise."

With Navigator, guests also are able to select and save activities to personalize their daily schedule. Those activities appear alongside booked dining reservations and shore excursions, keeping everything easily accessible in one place. Notifications can be set up to send reminders and alerts for reservations, messages and more.

Guests who forget to download the Navigator app prior to embarking can download it once on board free of charge without using internet minutes.

In the coming months, Holland America Line will extend the app offerings for both mobile phones and tablets — currently only available to use during a guest's cruise — to offer pre-voyage access so guests can review available services and check out the interactive fleet map at any time before boarding the ship.

Princess Cruises Continues Activation of MedallionClass Vacations on Six More Ships in 2020
Princess Cruises today announced the expansion of its MedallionClass Vacations to six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20) – bringing the enhanced and personalized cruise vacation experience to Australia, New Zealand and a World Cruise for the first time.

MedallionClass Vacations are currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, with Crown Princess starting July 24 and Sky Princess beginning October 12, 2019 when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform. By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.

"Our guests who have experienced MedallionClass on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess have enthusiastically embraced the OceanMedallion. We are thrilled with the response and working to extend Princess MedallionClass to more guests around the world," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Princess Cruises is passionately committed to giving all our guests the opportunity for a more personalized and simplified vacation experience."

The award-winning OceanMedallion is a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by enhancing guest-crew interactions, eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment to deliver a high level of service and personalized attention on a large scale.

Princess MedallionClass Vacations are resulting in high guest satisfaction scores, thanks to a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to save precious time and enhance their cruise vacation, including:

• Expedited Arrival - From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their vacation started even sooner. Personalization starts pre-cruise as guests become OceanReady before arriving at the port.

• On-Demand Services - Food, beverage, retail order and hospitality services delivered to your location: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNow and have them delivered directly anywhere on board, including to their stateroom.

• Family and Friends Locator - Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests' smart devices, OceanCompassTM leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

• Keyless stateroom entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings, including loyalty level recognition and celebrations, welcome the guest on their door portal.

• Interactive voyage timeline: Available now on ship portals, JourneyViewTM is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage.

• Wager-based gaming: On smart devices via Ocean Casino and on select portals, guests can wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• Interactive game play: On portals located shipwide and using smart devices with PlayOcean, guests can enjoy a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 54.85 + 0.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 129.17 + 5.63%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.00 - 5.66%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.29 + 2.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
From March 7 to March 21, 1940, New York city played host to a unique gathering of three of the largest liners ever to sail the oceans. Name these three ships.

Answer - The Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mary, and the Normandie (This is the only time these three ships were together in one port)
courtesy of Chris Kail


Cruise News - April 29, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Announces Three Partnerships Ahead Of Celebrity Flora's Debut
With just 66 days until the official debut of Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Cruises has unveiled three new cutting-edge partnerships for the revolutionary new ship: A world-renowned conservationist turned Godmother, a one-of-a-kind designer with an unmatched vision, and a leading university specializing in marine and atmospheric sciences.

"We are also thrilled to unveil three one-of-a-kind partnerships, which help underscore our passion for protecting this beautiful archipelago," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Each of these new partners are helping shape a better tomorrow for our planet in one way or another – whether it's through the research, sustainable material sourcing or conservation – and we couldn't be prouder to be a part of this sea change."

Lutoff-Perlo also added: "These new partnerships are accentuating the already incredible work we've done with our other partners, including the amazing Francesca Bucci of BG Studio International, a New York City hospitality design firm – who designed every aspect of this stunning new ship – and the world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert Dr. Ellen Prager – who crafted new and exciting science- and discovery-based programming exclusive to Celebrity Flora."

Naturally, sharing Celebrity's passion for environmental stewardship was the most important factor in choosing a godmother for one of the most eco-friendly ships of its size in the Galapagos Islands. No one was a better match than Yolanda Kakabadse.

Recognized as a prominent environmental leader and a global champion of sustainable development and biodiversity preservation, Kakabadse is a former Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador and a former president of both the International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund International. Kakabadse is passionate about reducing the economic, social, and environmental impacts of food waste, and is a member of Champions 12.3. She has dedicated her career to leaving the world a better place.

"The Galapagos Islands are an ecological treasure and I am excited to showcase its one-of-a-kind biodiversity through Flora," said Kakabadse. "I am proud to partner with a company that is committed to sustainability in the Galapagos and showing leadership on an issue critical to sustain this beautiful ecosystem, food waste."

As part of Celebrity's more than 20-year repertoire of environmental efforts and inspired by the work of Celebrity Flora's Godmother, the brand is pleased to partner with Kakabadse to further focus on continued efforts to further reduce the any food waste and to create passionate advocates for conservation in every guest who sails.

Located at the intersection of five ocean currents are the lush Galapagos Islands, with their world-famous ecology featuring some of the most diverse flora and fauna anywhere in the world. Understanding how those currents and weather patterns have impacted development of the unique island environment and wildlife is a key part of conserving the one-of-a-kind archipelago for years to come.

With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity Cruises had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.

The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research – a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.

"Celebrity Flora's repeated circumnavigations of the Galapagos Archipelago will not only yield data essential to understanding the physical system that has created and maintains the unique Galapagos ecosystem but will be an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the effects of global weather and climate upon eastern equatorial Pacific circulation and regional ocean acidification," said Peter B. Ortner, Research Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

When Celebrity set out to build the first ship designed with the Galapagos in mind, the brand knew it needed to bring on a designer whose aesthetic not only drew inspiration from the region, but who also had a personal connection to this one-of-a-kind destination and would complement the stunning ship design by BG Studio.

Ecuadorian-native Adriana Hoyos was the perfect choice. A renowned interior and furniture designer, Hoyos pulls inspiration from her heritage and her extensive travels and highlights sustainable materials when crafting a new collection. Her one-of-a kind pieces can be found throughout the Discovery Lounge, Penthouse Suites and the Marina, complementing the ship design with local elements that connect to the destination organically.

"The Galapagos have always been a great inspiration for my work. Each island has different elements like the sand, the volcanic ashes, the leaves and all of those textures put together have a place in my furniture. That is why we chose selected pieces to complement the ship' design with local elements that will connect organically to the design of the cruise," said Hoyos. "The ship is unique and Galapagos is a unique place as well!"

One of the most energy-efficient ships of its size in the diverse archipelago, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora is the first ship of its kind designed specifically for the Galapagos. The cutting-edge new ship will feature Celebrity's signature outward-facing design concept, giving guests 360-degree views of the islands, and all-suite accommodations – including an unprecedented 50% Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda – equipped with personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience for guests.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making her first sailing on June 30, 2019.

Norwegian Joy Departs For Preview Cruises After Over $50 Million Revitalization
On the heels of an over $50 million renovation to make her almost identical to Norwegian Bliss, her wildly successful sister ship, Norwegian Joy today set sail on the first of two exclusive inaugural preview cruises before her first official sailing out of Seattle to Alaska on May 4, 2019.

The fifteenth ship in the company’s modern fleet of sixteen ships, and the second in the Breakaway-Plus Class, the most successful class in the brand’s history, Norwegian Joy is one of the most innovative in the fleet, featuring industry firsts including an onboard go-kart track, open-air laser tag arena and Galaxy Pavilion, a dedicated virtual reality and gaming venue. She is the only ship in the fleet to offer the Concierge-level stateroom category, which features spacious suites with 24/7 concierge service and private dining. Following the extensive revitalization, Norwegian Joy boasts an enhanced go-kart track and Galaxy Pavilion as well as a variety of new dining and bar venues.

She will offer seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle with calls to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C. Beginning in the fall, she will sail to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, Calif. as well as the Panama Canal from Los Angeles and Miami, Fla. She will cruise to the Caribbean from Miami beginning in 2020.

“We are so happy to bring Norwegian Joy to North America to sail alongside her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart. “These preview cruises will allow us to properly showcase this innovative ship to members of the media as well as our travel partners, who will experience firsthand how incredible she is.”

Carnival Sunrise Departs on Inaugural Voyage from Norfolk
Following an extensive $200 million renovation that added a variety of food, beverage and entertainment innovations as well as stateroom upgrades, Carnival Sunrise is making her debut today at Norfolk’s Decker Half Moone Cruise Center.

Carnival Sunrise is kicking off an exciting inaugural season of four- to 14-day voyages that visit destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, the Panama Canal, New England and Canada with the first four cruises from Norfolk.

“The introduction of Carnival Sunrise brings an incredibly enhanced ship to our guests with all of the popular features from across our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We couldn’t be more proud to introduce Carnival Sunrise in Norfolk.”

“To be the first port in the United States to welcome Carnival Sunrise makes this a very special event for Norfolk,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus executive director. “We’re eager to roll out the red carpet for these guests, and for the staff and crew of this beautiful ship.”

According to a study conducted by the Cruise Lines International Association, Carnival and other cruise operators account for $153 million in direct expenditures, 2,800 jobs and $170 million in wages for the state of Virginia each year.

Part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise now includes popular features, such as:

• Casual F&B options: Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to the Lido Marketplace, an expanded ice cream station, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.
• Specialty dining: The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.
• Shopping and Personal Care: A Cherry on Top sweet shop, Pixels photo gallery, expanded retail outlets and renovated fitness and spa facilities.
• Outdoor Decks and Attractions: A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf.
• Youth & Family Entertainment: Dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17, as well as an arcade.
• Theater & Live Entertainment: The Punchliner Comedy Club in the new Limelight Lounge, Playlist Productions shows in the Liquid Lounge, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and the popular sing-along piano bar.
• Staterooms and Suites: Two redesigned Captain’s Suites and updates to all staterooms.

Beginning May 23, Carnival Sunrise will set sail from New York through mid-October on a series of four- to 14-day voyages. An invitation-only naming ceremony will be held on board prior to the May 23 departure with Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, serving as the ship’s godmother.

Carnival Sunrise will return to Norfolk in October for two six-day cruises then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28.

Princess Cruises Begins 50th Alaska Season
Princess Cruises 50th year sailing in Alaska began this weekend with the arrival of Ruby Princess into Ketchikan and Juneau. This summer, seven Princess Cruises ships will sail to Alaska with the inaugural season of Royal Princess beginning on May 11.

New programs will be available onboard all Princess Cruises ships sailing in Alaska for the upcoming May through September season, marking the cruise line's largest deployment ever. Royal Princess debut marks the first time a Princess MedallionClass ship will be sailing in Alaska. Powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.

"We've hosted more guests in Alaska than any other cruise line – more than 5 million over the last 50 years, and this season will be the best one yet," said Lisa Syme, Princess Cruises vice president marketing. "With some sailings still available, think about spending summer vacation experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Great Land with its glaciers and wildlife, create lifelong vacation memories."

As the recognized cruise line leader, Princess offers a variety of cruise and cruisetour options highlighting the state's must-see attractions, including Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Alaska cruises range in length from seven to 12 days and depart from Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Princess also owns and operates five wilderness lodges nestled in scenic riverside locations near National Parks offering more than 20 unique cruisetour options for guests. Princess cruisetours highlight the best of Alaska by combining a seven-day cruise with a multi-night land tour and exclusive "Direct to the Wilderness" rail service – giving travelers a seamless Princess vacation experience in the Great Land.

New for 2019, as part of the Alaska cruisetour offerings, is the grand opening of Fannie Q's Saloon at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. This new restaurant and bar named after famed Alaskan pioneer, Fannie Quigley, will showcase her story and locally inspired dishes in a modern saloon setting, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just outside of Fannie Q's Saloon, the new Fireside Patio also debuts with three firepits offering a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink in the midnight sun. Light refreshments will be available for purchase at this new cozy spot. Last, newly named Grizzly Burger offers a fast-casual restaurant serving up the cruise line's award-winning "Ernesto" burger, named "Best Burger at Sea" by Cruise Critic. This uniquely crafted ribeye burger was created exclusively for Princess by burger expert Chef Ernesto Uchimura.

Additionally, an exclusive treehouse experience at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters offers guests the ultimate Denali view in an unforgettable setting.

For this 50th anniversary year, specially-themed offerings are being added to the award-winning "North to Alaska" onboard lineup that brings unique Alaska experiences to life, like Puppies in the Piazza, through local seafood including our popular "Cook My Catch" shore excursion and with real Alaskans coming aboard to share their stories.

Northern Lights Planetarium – Gazing up at the Northern Lights is an unforgettable natural phenomenon. Now, guests have the opportunity to enter the indoor planetarium in the Princess Theater and look up at this aurora, a natural and colorful light display.

McKinley the Moose – Introduced last week, McKinley, "Mac," the moose, is the plush character friend of Stanley, who was first introduced in 2017 as the official bear plush for the cruise line, named after the company's founder Stanley B. McDonald. McKinley, in reference to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge was named by Princess Cruises Facebook fans. Stanley will be joined by Mac onboard Princess Cruises 2019 Alaska sailings starting in May. Life-size characters will make special appearances for photo opportunities with guests and during entertainment events. Plush Stanley and Mac will be available for purchase on board in The Shops of Princess for $24.95, with a portion of the proceeds from sales supporting PAWS: Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor.

Adventures Ashore – A number of new shore excursions in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point will be available for guests to truly connect with the local nature, culture and adventures only found in Alaska, including:

• Hubbard Glacier & Wilderness Exploration – Hubbard Glacier
• Luxury Whale Watch by Yacht – Juneau
• Interactive Self-Guided Jeep Adventure – Juneau
• Ketchikan Pub Walk – Ketchikan
• Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure – Ketchikan
• Seafood Feast & Tribal Dance Show – Icy Strait Point
• Tree Top Adventure Park & Zipline – Icy Strait Point
• Adventure Park & ZipRider Combo – Icy Strait Point
• Wilderness Hike & Kayak Adventure – Icy Strait Point
• Discovering the Birds of Hoonah – Icy Strait Point

Local Guest Speakers – From naturalists, to a "Deadliest Catch" fisherman captain, to a world champion lumberjack and the first female winner of the Iditarod, guests will meet with local experts and hear first-hand how Alaska's unique environment has fueled their lifestyles, passions and professions.

A Taste of Alaska – With fresh menu offerings in the main dining rooms, guests will delight in seafood, such as salmon and crab, and locally inspired dishes.

"Glacier Tea" & Beer Tastings - A new celebratory cocktail will also be served up - a take on a Long Island Ice Tea, topped off with Blue Curacao, similar to the brilliant glacier blue color found in Alaska. For beer lovers, a special Alaska beer tasting flight will be offered, featuring blends from Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Company.

Historical Alaska Display in the Piazza – Guests will enjoy a mini museum exhibit featuring notable images throughout the 50 years Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska.

AIDAnova First Ship to be Supplied with LNG in Mediterranean
Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand and numerous representatives from politics, port-related businesses and tourism today celebrated the first-time arrival of the world's first cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Barcelona.

Upon arrival in Europe's biggest cruise port, AIDAnova – the newest vessel from AIDA Cruises, Germany's leader in cruising – was fueled for the first time in the Mediterranean with LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Currently, alongside Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona is the second start-and- end destination for AIDAnova's seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean. With Carnival Corporation's partnership with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell), the cruise ship will be regularly supplied with LNG at the Spanish metropolis.

Commissioned on Dec. 12, 2008, with four dual-fuel engines and three gas tanks on board, AIDAnova is the world's first cruise ship that will be operated in port and at sea with low-emission liquefied natural gas. Emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides are eliminated almost completely, while nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide emissions are sustainably reduced. Two of the tanks each have a length of around 35 meters, a diameter of 8 meters and a capacity of 1,550 cubic meters. A third, smaller tank with a diameter of 5 meters, is 28 meters long and has a capacity of approximately 520 cubic meters.

It has been over 10 years since Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises started investing in LNG propulsion technology. Two additional ships of this new AIDA generation will join the AIDA fleet in 2021 and 2023. Carnival Corporation leads the industry with the adoption of LNG, with a total of 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships able to be powered by LNG in port and at sea on order with delivery dates between 2019 and 2025.

Highlights onboard AIDAnova, which marks an exciting new generation of ships for AIDA Cruises, include new culinary and entertainment offerings such as the Time Machine Restaurant, a street food mile with culinary treats and a floating TV studio. Guests can also enjoy the popular 360-degree Theatrium, the Four Elements adventure deck, complete with three water slides and a climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof and the Beach Club for relaxing on board. AIDAnova also features a 3,500-square meter large wellness area, an outdoor fitness studio, a penthouse suite with two decks, individual staterooms, 17 restaurants and 23 bars.

Until the beginning of November 2019, AIDAnova will be sailing seven-day cruises, calling at some of the Germans' most popular travel destinations in the Mediterranean – Civitavecchia (Rome), La Spezia (Florence), Marseille and Barcelona.

Viking Announces New Egypt Ship
Viking today announced an expansion of its Egypt program for the 2020 season, which will include the launch of a new ship. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships and built specifically for the Nile River, Viking Osiris is currently under construction and will double the company's owned capacity in Egypt when it debuts in September 2020. Also launching in the next year are two new Pre-Cruise Extensions designed to enhance guests' base knowledge of Egyptology prior to arriving in Cairo. These five-day extensions to Viking's Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary will provide guests with Privileged Access to archives and exhibits in London and Oxford that are not normally accessible to the public. This announcement comes as Viking guests continue to express strong interest in Egypt – and just one year after the company launched Viking Ra, a completely renovated vessel and Viking's first owned and operated ship on the Nile.

"Egypt has inspired explorers for generations, and it remains a top destination for many of our guests," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "For more than two decades, we have led the river cruise industry with our fleet development and experiences that bring travelers closer to the cultures of the world. We remain committed to Egypt, and we look forward to introducing the historic treasures of the region to even more Viking guests."

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Osiris will be a state-of-the art ship with the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known – and will join the company's other ship on the Nile, Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking is the first and only Western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Building on the success of the Oxford & Highclere Castle program – Viking's highest-rated Pre/Post Extension that visits "The Real Downton Abbey" – the company has applied the same degree of Privileged Access to two new curated Pre-Cruise Extensions that allows guests to retrace the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, in London and experience Privileged Access to two museums: first a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his exquisite collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus. Guests will also visit London's Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art – and go behind the scenes at Oxford University's Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a Privileged Access visit to see Carter's archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Lastly, guests will have an opportunity to visit Highclere Castle – the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – and enjoy an exciting opportunity to view the earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts. Guests traveling through April 2020 may opt for the new five-day King Tut & the UK's Egyptian Collections extension, which also includes an opportunity to visit Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, a special exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery that is presented by Viking.

During the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests experience Egypt's cultural treasures in seven destinations. The cruisetour begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 54.43 + 2.56%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.24 + 1.56%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.06 - 0.93%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.08 + 0.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
From March 7 to March 21, 1940, New York city played host to a unique gathering of three of the largest liners ever to sail the oceans. Name these three ships.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In May of 1972, on voyage number 84, Cunard's QE2 picked up four unexpected passengers during a trans-Atlantic crossing. Who were they, and how did they end up onboard QE2?

Answer - The four unexpected passengers for the QE2 were members of a Bomb Disposal Team parachuted to the ship following a bomb alert.
courtesy of Ian S. Halliday


Cruise News - April 22, 2019

Azamara Club Cruises Announces 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 Itineraries
Boutique cruise line, Azamara Club Cruises, is thrilled to announce the complete list of 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itineraries. Committed to its Destination Immersion programming, guests can expect over 140 overnight stays around the world; and deepen their discovery of Eastern Europe with expanded itineraries to the Black Sea and Turkey, including overnights in Istanbul and a chance to explore hidden gems including Antalya and Sinop.

"Being a leader in Destination Immersion means staying ahead, which is why we're thrilled to introduce our complete list of 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itineraries," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "With our commitment to connect people with culture, our guests can uncover world wonders, including new destinations such as Guayaquil, Ecuador, with an overland expedition to the Galapagos Islands. We will also return to Japan, one of our most popular country-intensive itineraries, which visits marquee ports like Tokyo and Kobe, as well as the remote treasures of Kitakyushu and Kanazawa."

10 Maiden Ports Include:
• Amami, Japan
• Brest, France
• Fraser Island, Australia
• Guayaquil, Ecuador
• Manta, Ecuador
• Milos, Greece
• Pylos, Greece
• Tema (Accra), Ghana
• Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

In 2021, Azamara more than doubled its overnights in France and Spain since 2015 – examples of shore excursions include:

• Andalusian Gastronomy Experience in Seville, Spain – Among the warm Mudéjar and Gothic style buildings of Seville, guests will learn how to cook like Sevillanos at the Taller Andaluz de Cocina. The Andalusian Cooking Workshop is located near the Mercado de Triano—a historical food market located a short distance from the city's center. An unforgettable experience guided by a local, professional chef, participants will prepare the region's quintessential dishes, later tasting them with the group.

• Nantes/Loire Valley – A returning port for Azamara guests, travelers will experience old-world French culture with a visit to the privately owned, Chateau de Goulaine, which has been home to the Goulaine Family for over 1,000 years. Chateau-goers will marvel at splendors like the 15th century kitchen and winery; a local white wine tasting is included. Immediately after, visitors will drive 45-minutes to Clisson, a town known for its medieval Italian atmosphere and former Middle Ages fortress, Castle of Clisson.

Azamara Travels Deeper into Turkey – highlights of the shore excursion programming include:

• Complete Istanbul, Turkey – Azamara will spend three overnights in Turkey's largest city, providing guests with an action-packed one-and-a-half-day tour. Highlights include a trip to the ancient Hippodrome; St. Sophia Museum, which originated as a church in 360 AD under Constantine; and Topkapi Palace, a great walled complex hugging the shores of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn and also the residence of the Ottoman Sultans.

• Returning Ports: Antalya and Sinop - Azamara will be returning to two of Turkey's hidden gems, Antalya and Sinop. Nestled on the coast of the Mediterranean, guests going ashore in Antalya will discover the world-famous Greco-Roman amphitheater, Aspendos—one of the world's most well-preserved theaters, with seating for 15,000 people, which is still being used today.

Azamara will offer new Grand Voyages where guests can book back-to-back sailings across the globe and receive Onboard Credit for each leg of their voyage plus free WiFi. Azamara's Grand Voyages are designed for guests to opt in for longer sailings by visiting more destinations, connecting with locals and their culture, while simultaneously saving money on their booking. One example of a new Grand Voyage includes: 69-night circumnavigation of South America: Roundtrip out of Miami, starting January 2022, this voyage will give guests an immersive experience of South America, covering 32 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, and sails through Antarctic Sound.

MSC Cruises And Martha Stewart Announce New Partnership
MSC Cruises announced this week that it is partnering with home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart on new, exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board and ashore to make MSC Cruises' guests vacation moments even more special and memorable. The partnership — themed Celebrate, Discover, Experience — includes specially curated shore excursions, celebration surprise gift packages, and onboard special holiday dinner menus and recipes.

"MSC Cruises is committed to developing enriching guest experiences and as such we partner with world-class experts in their field to create together something truly unique," said Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises. "Martha Stewart's philosophy and passion for discovery is a perfect match for MSC Cruises and we are excited to bring her innovation, style and expertise to life in this special partnership designed to help our guests create memorable vacation moments with friends and family."

"I've always enjoyed introducing people to new experiences, and I'm thrilled to be working with MSC Cruises on a partnership that embodies the true celebratory nature of travel, exploration and discovery," said Martha Stewart. "The excursions showcase some of my favorite activities and help MSC Cruises' guests discover some of the authentic and hidden treasures of destinations throughout the Caribbean. The holiday dinner menus and surprise gift packages encompass what I believe celebrations should include: good food, good company and commemorating great adventures and inspiration wherever we are."

MSC Cruises modern and elegant ships offer guests a distinctive experience inspired by the Company's European heritage. On board guests will enjoy fine dining options with the best of Mediterranean and international cuisines, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. It is through partnerships such as this latest with Martha Stewart that MSC Cruises is able to offer truly unique experiences that can only be enjoyed by MSC Cruises guests. This includes the innovative entertainment concept Cirque du Soleil at Sea, created with world-leader in live entertainment Cirque du Soleil, available on the Meraviglia class ships. MSC Cruises works with six of the world's leading chefs, each representing excellence in their respective cuisine to deliver an international fine dining experience. Last month, the Company launched the world's first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE, on board MSC Bellissima, in collaboration with HARMAN, experts in the field of voice-enabled technology having developed audio solutions for technology leaders such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Initially taking place in multiple destinations across the Caribbean, the uniquely curated Martha Stewart & MSC Cruises Excursions focus on some of Martha's passion points and feature a variety of activities, including hands-on culinary classes and tastings of local delights, horseback riding in the ocean, hiking to hidden coves, visits to craft markets, lessons from local fisherman and tours of beautiful gardens. In addition to highlighting key landmarks at a destination, these specially crafted tours truly embody the locals' favorite spots and tell the story of the local culture.

"As MSC Cruises significantly expands its presence in the North American market, we are continually seeking to introduce new offerings in the region that are appealing to the North American traveler," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises (USA). "MSC Cruises' guests are curious travelers who seek learning opportunities and are looking for authentic experiences that help them travel like a local. In addition to being designed around Martha Stewart's interests, together we created these shore excursions with insight from the local tourism boards to identify the true, hidden treasures of the islands and really provide our guests with an exceptional and rare experience."

For the initial roll-out, excursions will be available at all destinations visited on itineraries served by MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia including: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, Saint Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatán Island, Honduras. Starting November 2019, additional excursions will be available in destinations visited by MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia while sailing the Caribbean. Future roll out will also include an excursion on MSC Cruises' new private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, which will welcome its first guests in November 2019.

Family Feud Live Takes to the High Seas
Let’s play Family Feud Live! Carnival Cruise Line today announced it will debut the seagoing version of the iconic TV game show Family Feud as part of the entertainment lineup on the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, when it enters service in 2020.

An exclusive partnership with Fremantle, Family Feud Live aboard Mardi Gras will feature the same format and signature set as the TV show. Two five-person teams will battle it out in rounds including Face Off and Fast Money by naming the most popular answers to survey questions for a chance to win a host of prizes in a high-energy gameplay.

“Carnival Cruise Line is all about fun, family and friends just like Family Feud,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “As we continue to build Mardi Gras’ diverse entertainment lineup, we are excited about offering this iconic game show onboard and involving our guests in a great new way to Choose Fun.”

Rick Glankler, president of commercial operations for Fremantle, added, “Our show has been wildly successful for more than 40 years, but it’s never been showcased at sea, so this is an unbelievably exciting opportunity for us. Carnival’s audience is perfectly aligned with our show, and we cannot wait to give Mardi Gras’ guests the chance to play Family Feud Live.”

The onboard version of Family Feud Live on Mardi Gras will be hosted by the ship’s cruise director. Several variations of the show will be played and designed to be both family-friendly and adult-oriented. Family Feud Live will be just one of the many all-ages entertainment offerings presented in Mardi Gras’ Grand Central zone and other new venues.

Mardi Gras is Carnival’s most innovative ship with such groundbreaking experiences like BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, as well as Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first seagoing restaurant by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse that will be housed in the ship’s French Quarter, one of six themed zones on board. Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Disney Cruise Line and Captain Minnie Mouse Inspire Next Generation of Female Ship Captains
With a collection of new initiatives, Disney Cruise Line is aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the maritime industry. The debut of Captain Minnie Mouse, new youth programs and the funding of scholarships are designed to empower girls and young women to pursue careers in the cruise industry and chart a course for success.

Disney characters delight and inspire children around the globe, and Disney Cruise Line is counting on the power of the mouse – Minnie Mouse – to spread the message of exploring new horizons, both by land and by sea.

Captain Minnie Mouse, in her crisp new uniform with smart white trousers or skirt and a bold red jacket emblazoned with captain's insignia, will make the rounds on all Disney ships starting in April.

In 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sponsor four scholarships at the LJM Maritime Academy in The Bahamas for female cadets who aspire to be ship captains and shipboard leaders. The scholarships, one for each of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will include tuition to the three-year program. The scholarships will include two years of study at the academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.

"Our Disney characters have a unique ability to inspire and connect with children, and we know Captain Minnie will encourage young girls around the world to consider a career in the maritime industry," said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. "We are excited to work with LJM Maritime Academy to offer scholarships for young women who are pursuing their passions and following their dreams in our industry."

Onboard Disney Cruise Line ships later this year, Captain Minnie Mouse will appear in an all-new youth activity where young captain hopefuls practice STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills in a fun maritime-themed activity. Children will hone their STEM and problem-solving abilities – skills that play an important role in the maritime industry – in a series of engaging, hands-on activities.

The interactive experience will be a journey of discovery, exploration and imagination that will be offered in Disney's Oceaneer Lab aboard all Disney ships.

As part of a commitment to encourage future generations to pursue careers in the maritime industry, Captain Minnie Mouse will visit children in some of Disney Cruise Line's homeports and ports of call.

Children will have an opportunity to meet Captain Minnie Mouse and be inspired by her "can do" qualities and ability to tackle any goal she sets her mind to.

As part of these local community visits, Captain Minnie Mouse will be accompanied by a female Disney Cruise Line officer or crew member to showcase their roles in the maritime industry and raise awareness about career choices for women aboard a cruise ship.

To celebrate the excitement of Captain Minnie Mouse at the helm, Disney Cruise Line is unveiling a special line of merchandise, exclusive to the Disney fleet. Items in the nautical-themed collection of apparel and gifts tout the tagline, "You Can Call Me Captain." A brand-new Captain Minnie Mouse plush will be introduced this summer.

Captain Minnie Mouse also takes the spotlight on a new PANDORA Jewelry charm, available for purchase exclusively onboard.

In the future, girls will get to dress the part with a Captain Minnie Mouse makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, available exclusively on Disney ships. At this special salon, children can transform into seafaring captains, inspired by their favorite mouse.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.07 - 1.25%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.40 - 1.68%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.07 + 0.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.60 - 3.53%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In May of 1972, on voyage number 84, Cunard's QE2 picked up four unexpected passengers during a trans-Atlantic crossing. Who were they, and how did they end up onboard QE2?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 (now a museum ship/hotel in Rotterdam) had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - The Rotterdam of 1959 had a staircase that comprised of two inter-spiralling staircases that allowed both first class and tourist class to travel vertically and permitted them to access their own grade of deck. This feature was copied from the Chateau de Chambord in France.
courtesy of Les Grant.


Cruise News - April 15, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Orders Fifth Edge-Class Vessel
Royal Caribbean Cruises today announced that it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique to order a fifth Edge-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2024.

"Edge class made an immediate hit with Celebrity Cruises guests and is a state-of-the-art example of technical excellence and elegant design," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We can't wait to build the next one."

"Celebrity Edge has delighted our guests and affirmed Celebrity Cruises as the leading modern luxury brand. Chantiers de l'Atlantique has been a brilliant partner and we look forward to creating another amazing vessel with them," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises.

"We are really proud and happy to have built such an outstanding relationship with our customer, based on mutual trust and driven by the spirit of innovation," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. "After the four Millennium-class ships at the beginning of 2000's and the four Edge-class ships, this is the ninth ship ordered by Celebrity Cruises at our shipyard and it will be the 24th vessel built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique and operated by RCL. This is a real testimony of the exceptional level of cooperation we reached together."

Celebrity Edge was delivered in 2018. Three other Edge-class ships were ordered earlier and are scheduled for delivery in 2020, 2021 and 2022. This new order is contingent upon financing.

Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery Of Spectrum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International officially took delivery of the 26th ship in its fleet, Spectrum of the Seas, in a ceremony held today in Bremerhaven, Germany. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley received the new ship from Meyer Wert Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Director Tim Meyer at the official handover ceremony. The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships, Spectrum will homeport from Shanghai starting June 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Spectrum of the Seas, our first Quantum Ultra Class ship to the Royal Caribbean family,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have once again combined revolutionary ship design with the latest technology to deliver a ship that will redefine the China cruise market. We are excited for our guests to make amazing family memories.”

Designed and built for unforgettable vacation experiences, Spectrum will debut the global cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, and innovative dining concepts, along with stunning features, experiences and technology – many of which have never been seen before at sea.

Spectrum’s highlights include:

• Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which will feature the exquisite Goldenand Silver suite accommodations in a private enclave at the forward end of the ship on decks 13 through 16. Vacationers booked in these luxury suites will have special keycard access, a private elevator and a dedicated restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of exclusive amenities, guests will have access to The Balcony – a private outdoor space for sunbathing and relaxing – that offers the best views on board; and The Boutique, a shopping area where travelers can book private shopping experiences.

• The two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suiteaccommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite includes a master bedroom and two additional bedrooms for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies and video games.

• Innovative dining concepts Sichuan Red– with authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China, Wonderland’s Dadong – a new outpost of Chinese chef Dong Zhenxiang, renowned for his much-coveted roast duck; and the Leaf and Bean traditional tea room and café parlor offering a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and western desserts and pastries.

• Debuting on Spectrum, a new lively and energetic karaoke venue, Star Moment, where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.

• An enhanced SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea, where families can enjoy bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, and new augmented realitywalls and floors, providing guests with thrilling, high-tech interactive experiences.

• The iconic Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship, as well as Quantum Class favorites: the North Star, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views; RipCord by iFly, a heart-pounding skydiving simulator experience; and the FlowRider surfing simulator.

• Cutting-edge and transformative venues, such as Two70with its expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking 270-degree views of the ocean. Two70 features its signature Vistarama technology, which transforms the panoramic windows into a projection surface more than 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall to showcase spectacular digital shows. Six agile Roboscreens, measuring over 7 feet tall and controlled by powerful, yet nimble robotic arms, create scenes as they soar and twist solo or as one. Two70 will also feature new room-scale augmented reality experiences that transport vacationers to new worlds of adventure. Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she arrives to her new home in Shanghai on June 3, 2019. Before Spectrum arrives to her new home this summer, she will sail a 46-night Global Odyssey from Barcelona, Spain to Shanghai, taking guests to an exciting array of ports, including Aqaba, Jordan; Dubai, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Cochin, India and Georgetown, Malaysia. In winter 2019, the ship will reposition to Hong Kong to offer special holiday cruises.

Silversea Unveils Silver Origin
Silversea unveils new details of Silver Origin, the cruise line's first ever destination-specific ship, which will unlock deep travel experiences for guests in the Galapagos Islands from the summer of 2020. One of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever and designed entirely with these unique islands in mind, Silver Origin will combine Silversea's local destination expertise with the cruise line's trademark level of luxury to offer guests the ultimate destination experience.

From summer 2020, the 100-passenger, all-suite Silver Origin will build on Silversea's accrued know-how in the Galapagos Islands to form deeper connections between guests and the destination. In addition to the ship's pioneering design and guests' unique experiences ashore – which will be led by Silversea's Expedition Team, who are certified by the National Park of the Galapagos – this immersive concept will see guests enjoy Ecuadorian culture on board, through insightful content, including daily briefings, lectures, videos, and scientific information; authentic local cuisine, prepared by expert Ecuadorian chefs; and various other luxurious enhancements. Offering the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the region, at 1:12.5, Silver Origin will offer a luxurious outpost from which guests will enjoy personalised experiences throughout the Galapagos Islands. Every aspect of guests' cruise experiences will be tailored to take them closer to the authentic beauty of the Galapagos Islands in luxury.

Perfectly crafted and with the utmost attention to the comfort of guests, the interior design of Silver Origin will whisper luxury, inspired by the understated Italian elegance that pervades Silversea's fleet of intimate ships. Yet, it will also take influence from the Galapagos' unique natural environment to strengthen guests' engagement with the destination, with each space enhancing the experience. Bright, colourful motifs and regional materials will accentuate the design. Silver Origin's public spaces were designed by HBA Miami, while GEM – Design for Cruise Ships, the team behind the interior design of Silver Muse, oversaw the interior design of the ship's suites.

Basecamp, an elegant lounge in which guests can socialize before and after excursions, will be among Silver Origin's most innovative spaces. Connecting with the ship's Zodiac embarkation area to represent the synergy between destination and ship, it will host educational activities, through which guests will be able to interact with the onboard Expedition Team to learn more about the rare wildlife, amazing landscapes and captivating history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after experiencing these attractions first-hand. Basecamp will feature a large, interactive digital wall—through which guests will be able to access destination-related content, including pictures, videos, excursion previews and scientific presentations.

With floor-to-ceiling windows for sweeping views of the destination, Silver Origin's Explorer Lounge will host daily briefings and lectures from the ship's Expedition Team. The elegant venue will feature a large video wall and wide HD screens in different seating areas to optimise guests' destination experience. It will also be a sophisticated space in which guests to relax, with a bar and piano. With Silversea's all-inclusive approach, guests will enjoy complimentary drinks throughout the ship, including spirits, champagne, and many varieties of wines.

Located at the very front of the ship, the beautiful Observation Lounge will offer an elegant hideaway to guests, benefitting from incredible views on the destination. It will be the ideal place for guests to relax with a book from the library, which will be carefully curated by Silversea's destination experts and will be the most extensive destination-focused collection the cruise line has ever had on one ship.

Silver Origin will feature eight different suite categories to offer guests superlative comfort—the largest of which, the Owner's Suite, will offer a panoramic view on the destination. Guests in every suite will enjoy the use of a private balcony, while certain suite categories will feature an innovative Horizon Balcony, which can convert to enclose the balcony with a floor-to-ceiling window for added space and better shelter from the elements. Plus, a first for Silversea, selected suite categories will incorporate an ocean-view bathtub, as well as an ocean-view shower that is accessible from the balcony for guests' convenience and comfort.

With culinary immersion offering a means to travel deeper into Ecuadorian culture, expert local chefs will take guests on a journey of culinary discovery in Silver Origin's two dining venues: The Restaurant and The Grill—each of which will be able to accommodate all guests at full capacity. Authentic flavours; fresh, local ingredients; and regional wines will complement international cuisine to inspire the palates of diners, showcasing the best of Ecuadorian culinary heritage in refined settings. In The Restaurant, guests will enjoy an abundance of natural light and far-reaching views as they dine; in The Grill, a sophisticated open-air venue that can be partially enclosed for comfort, Silversea's signature Hot Rocks concept will enhance guests' dining experiences, with Ecuadorian twists enhancing the offering further still.

Silver Origin will be one of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever built, thanks to state-of-the-art technology and solutions designed specifically for sailing the Galapagos Islands: the ship's dynamic positioning system will allow Silver Origin to automatically maintain position to protect the sea floor; fresh water purification systems, installed in each suite, will enable the ship to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bottles; an advanced Waste Water Treatment System will meet or exceed the strictest regulations in the market; and Silver Origin will meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in the segment. The technological innovation of Silver Origin will complement Silversea's significant efforts to make a positive impact on the natural and economic environment of the Galapagos Islands, including the cruise line's contribution to the Floreana Island Ecological Restoration Project.

"Silver Origin will elevate our industry-leading offering in the Galapagos Islands, unlocking meaningful experiences for guests, as they travel in ultimate luxury," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's CEO. "Ever since the early planning phases, every decision on Silver Origin has been made to strengthen the connection between our guests and this spectacular, unique destination."

"The natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands makes it one of the world's best cruise destinations," says Fernando Delgado, Silversea's Vice President and General Manager of Canodros C.L. "Silver Origin will enhance Silversea's award-winning cruise experience here, raising it to an even more incredible level for guests' enjoyment. I am excited to personally welcome Silver Origin to the region, and introduce the ship to our valued guests and trade partners."

Silver Origin will see the highest crew-to-guest ratio (1:1.16) and the highest ratio of qualified guides per guest (1:10) in the Galapagos Islands, enabling unparalleled levels of personalised service. This will extend to the in-suite experience, as Silver Origin will be the only ship in the Galapagos Islands to offer butler service to all suites.

New Arctic Expedition Offered
Travelers who dream of following in the footsteps of notable explorers need look no further than a new Arctic expedition offered by Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), the leader in small group travel on the road less traveled. O.A.T. announced three Summer 2020 departures of its first Arctic expedition cruise.

Travelers will set sail aboard the privately chartered 150-passenger M/V Hondius and journey north into the frozen wilderness. The brand new, state-of-the-art ship is the world's first civilian registered Polar Class 6 expedition cruise vessel. Polar bears on coastlines and herds of reindeer grazing in the tundra are among the many extraordinary wildlife sights.

"Our travelers—Americans 55 and older—are endlessly curious about the world and are eager to learn and be engaged. This Arctic expedition is interactive and experiential with significant opportunity to explore in small groups," said Brian Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of O.A.T. "O.A.T. travelers are environmentally conscious, and this ship's design aligns with that very well."

Arctic Expedition: Untamed Norway & Svalbard – 15 days from $12,895 pp, including international airfare. Three departures only: June 29 and July 9 &19, 2020.

Highlights of the expedition include:

• 10 days cruising around the island of Svalbard, spotting wildlife such as polar bears, walrus, narwhals, reindeer, arctic foxes, blue whales, and many types of birds.

• Daily zodiac cruising and landings – 10 people per zodiac accompanied by a knowledgeable Expedition Team.

• Educational talks and discussions regarding climate change, pollution, ice flow changes, wildlife and explorers.

• A rare "open bridge" policy enabling travelers to speak with the captain at any time.

Starting from Oslo, Norway, travelers will fly to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago, where they will board the ship and spend the next 10 nights cruising among ice floes, alongside pods of beluga whales, and past the breeding grounds of guillemots and Atlantic puffins. The cruise affords ample opportunity to marvel at the neon colors that the midnight sun paints the sky during the summer solstice, when it doesn't set for a six-month period.

Wildlife diversity in the Arctic is a major attraction for many travelers. In addition to the O.A.T. crew, an Expedition Team will be on board and available throughout the day, including naturalists, botanists, wildlife experts and ornithologists to help spot and discuss wildlife. June and July are the best time for seeing polar bears on Svalbard. Arctic flowers in full bloom and longer days create great light conditions for photos.

The M/V Hondius was designed to adapt to the ever-changing polar environment for exploratory voyages that provide first-hand contact with the Arctic. The vessel passed green requirements to impact the environment as little as possible. It features bio-degradable paints and lubricants, LED lighting and flexible power management systems to keep fuel consumption and CO2 emission at the absolute minimum.

O.A.T. is the leader in small ship cruising, with its 16- to 210-passenger, coastal-cruising small ships. These vessels are designed to slip into more remote ports that larger vessels cannot reach, bringing travelers closer to the most authentic discoveries. O.A.T. small ships also travel to remote locations around the world that are only accessible by small ship. O.A.T. travelers have the freedom to personalize their adventures. They can take pre- and post-trip extensions to spend more time abroad, travel on consecutive trips to avoid the expense and length of another international flight, and customize their air itinerary by choosing their airline, upgrading their seat, and selecting the city they want to depart from and return to.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Select 2020 and 2021 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced select 2020 and 2021 itineraries for 12 of its 17 ships.

The itineraries include Norwegian Encore’s debut in Seattle where she will sail seven-day cruises to Alaska alongside her sister ship Norwegian Bliss, as well as Norwegian Joy’s arrival in New York for the first time. Further, Norwegian Spirit, which will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar revitalization in early 2020, will sail a variety of port-intensive itineraries from Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China. Norwegian Jewel will sail French Polynesia, Hawaii and South Pacific cruises in spring 2020 and spring 2021.

“We are very excited to have opened for sale incredibly appealing itineraries across our innovative fleet,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “With these compelling sailings as well as the introduction of our latest ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore, and the revitalization of our mid-size vessels, we are confident guests will continue to savor every moment of their cruise vacation when they travel with us.”

Following are the itineraries announced today:

Alaska

Norwegian Bliss, which launched last year, will be joined in Seattle this year and next by Norwegian Joy and in 2021 by the soon-to-debut Norwegian Encore. Both Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore will offer a variety of seven-day cruises. Norwegian Bliss will call to Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska as well as to Victoria, British Columbia beginning April 24, 2021. Her first visit to Icy Strait Point will be on May 12, 2021. Norwegian Encore will commence her Alaska season on May 2, 2021, sailing to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia.All of Norwegian Encore’s Alaska itineraries will feature Glacier Bay. Norwegian Joy will sail to Alaska, visiting Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point as well as Victoria, British Columbia from April 2020 to October 2020. Beginning May 10, 2021, Norwegian Jewel returns to Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska to sail her incredibly popular seven-day Glacier Bay Northbound and Inside Passage itineraries.

The Caribbean

As of April 13, 2021, Norwegian Breakaway will cruise a mix of five, seven and nine-day Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean cruises from Miami. Her Eastern Caribbean sailings will include calls to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Her Western Caribbean cruises feature visits to Roatán Island, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and the Caribbean’s premier resort-style destination in Belize, Harvest Caye. Norwegian Breakaway’s Southern Caribbean cruises will visit Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Bermuda, Canada and New England

Beginning April 14, 2021, Norwegian Joy will homeport in New York City for the first time, sailing a mix of Bermuda as well as Canada and New England cruises. Her seven-day Bermuda sailings will offer guests three full days to explore the island, while her five-day Canada and New England voyages will feature visits to Portland, Maine and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

From April 18, 2021, Norwegian Gem will sail a mix of seven-day Bermuda cruises from Boston as well as seven-day Canada and New England cruises from Boston and Quebec City, Canada. Visits include Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saguenay, Quebec; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Following her Caribbean cruises from Miami on August 24, 2021, Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-day Canada and New England cruises from New York that will include calls to Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Europe

On April 25, 2021, Norwegian Epic will return to Europe to sail her popular seven-day itineraries from Barcelona, Spain and Rome (Civitavecchia) with calls to Naples and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Cannes, France; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Beginning May 2, 2021, Norwegian Dawn will once again cruise the Greek Isles from Venice, Italy with seven-day sailings that include visits to Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Argostoli, Greece.

As of April 29, 2021, Norwegian Getaway will offer 10 and 11-day cruises to the Greek Isles and Italy from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy with stops in Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Naples and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy.

Returning to Europe on May 28, 2021, Norwegian Escape will offer nine-day cruises to the Baltic region from Copenhagen, Denmark with calls to Warnemünde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden and an overnight in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Asia and South Pacific

Beginning May 9, 2020 and opening for sale on May 1, 2019, Norwegian Spirit will sail a variety of port-intensive itineraries from Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China. These 11 to 15-day itineraries will feature bucket-list worthy destinations including calls to Shanghai and Beijing, China; Osaka, Okinawa, Mount Fuji (Shimizu) and Sapporo, Japan; and Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan.

In early 2020, as part of the company’s Norwegian Edge program, Norwegian Spirit will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar revitalization including new venues, updated staterooms and public spaces.

Norwegian Jewel will sail a variety of French Polynesia, Hawaii, and South Pacific cruises in spring 2020 and spring 2021. Opening for sale on April 17, 2019, these 11 to 21-day sailings will cruise from Sydney, Australia; Papeete, Tahiti; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Vancouver, British Columbia featuring visits to incredible destinations such as Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, and Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia; Lautoka, Suva, and Dravuni, Fiji; Noumea, Lifou, and Ille des Pins, New Caledonia; Mystery Island, Espiritu Santo, and Port Vila, Vanuatu; and the Big Island (Hilo and Kailua-Kona), Maui (Kahului), Kauai (Nawiliwili), and Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii.

Princess Cruises Returns to Tahiti
In 2020, Princess Cruises guests will enjoy the welcoming spirit and idyllic islands of French Polynesia when the cruise line returns to Tahiti with the intimate Pacific Princess, offering a series of roundtrip cruises for the first time since 2015. Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises open for sale on April 17, 2019.

Guests will discover a trove of unspoiled treasures with sparkling lagoons and white-sand beaches available on five, 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia departures, sailing roundtrip from Tahiti (Papeete). Every voyage includes overnight calls in Tahiti's capital Papeete and romantic Bora Bora, as well as a late-night stay in Raiatea. Additional ports includes Huahine, Rangiroa, and Moorea. Cruise vacations begin Oct. 5, 15, 25 and Nov. 4 and 14, 2020 starting at $1,999.

"Tahiti and French Polynesia lure travelers from all over the world seeking pure unspoiled paradise, snorkeling, swimming adventures and relaxation," said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president. "With our return to Tahiti in 2020, Princess Cruises offers the best way to explore this remote island life aboard our intimate Pacific Princess."

Small ship cruising on Pacific Princess with just 670 guests offers casual elegance, signature Princess Cruises features, warm welcoming service and the special camaraderie that guests always find when sailing with others who share their passion for travel.

"Princess Cruises has a long history with Tahiti and is a highly valued partner showcasing the diversity of our islands, the rich authentic local culture, and the great variety of experiences that await discovery," notes Paul Sloan, Tahiti Tourisme, Directeur Général and CEO. "We are eagerly looking forward to next year and welcoming Pacific Princess back to The Islands of Tahiti."

With four Grand Adventure & Crossings itineraries, Pacific Princess also offers longer sailings for guests to experience the Aloha spirit of the Hawaiian Islands or discover the treasures of South America, including Easter Island with its mysterious Moai. A 19- or 29-day Hawaii & Tahiti Grand Adventure cruise departs Vancouver Sept. 16, 2020 and a 25- or 35-day Tahiti, South America & Panama Canal Crossing departs Tahiti on Nov. 14 or 24, 2020.

100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking
Today was the 107th anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. The following is a brief overview of the famous ship's brief and tragic life.

The story of RMS Titanic begins at a London dinner party in 1907 attended by White Star Line Chairman, J. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie, a partner at shipbuilder Harland and Wolff. Following a discussion of how they might work together to respond to the increasing competition on the North Atlantic sea route, Ismay and Lord Pirrie agreed that Harland and Wolff would build three super liners, Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic (her name was later changed to Britannic).

This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic.These three sisters would provide unmatched luxury and safety for transatlantic passengers. While the ships would be fast, they were never intended to challenge for the record Atlantic crossing. At over 45,000 tons, they would be the largest passenger liners ever built. Titanic would be over 883 feet long and could carry over 2,600 passengers.

Passenger accommodations consisted of the following:
First class - 416 rooms, 928 berths, 106 sofas and 554 seats in the saloon
Second class - 162 rooms, 510 berths and sofas and 402 seats in the saloon
Third class - 982 in rooms, 40 open berths and 473 seats in the saloon

Construction on the first of the three sisters, Olympic, began in late 1908. Work on her sister, Titanic began a year later in March of 1909. Because of the ships size, both the facilities in Belfast, where the ships were built and New York, their North American destination, had to be expanded. Titanic was launched in May of 1911 and spent the next 11 months fitting out at the Harland and Wolf shipyards. A total of three million rivets were used on her hull, and each of her anchors weighed approximately 8 tons.

Titanic's maiden voyage was originally scheduled for March 20, 1912, but in February of that year, her sister Olympic lost a propeller blade and had to return to the shipyard for emergency repair. As a consequence, resources were temporarily pulled from the Titanic project, and the ship's maiden voyage was delayed until April 10, 1912. Titanic did not sail at full capacity on her maiden voyage. A total of 337 passengers sailed in first class, 271 in second class and 712 in third class, or steerage. Most third class passengers were emigrants from Ireland, England, France, Poland, Scandinavia, Italy and the Middle and Far East.

While many writers (and web sites) claim that the builders dubbed her "unsinkable", there is no record that White Star or her captain Edward J. Smith ever using those words to describe Titanic. It is more likely that this unfortunate, and inaccurate, label was applied by the popular press at the time and over the years it became attributed to both the captain and White Star.

The reality was that Titanic offered her passengers the latest in shipbuilding technology with a double hull and a total of 16 water-tight compartments that were designed to keep her afloat even if up to 4 of them became flooded. While she carried more than the required number of lifeboats for the time, the regulations in effect in 1912 had not been updated to deal with ships of Titanic's size and as a result, her 20 lifeboats only had space for approximately 1,200 of the 2,600 passengers she was expected to carry.

In addition to the latest technology, she also provided her passengers some of most luxurious services and accommodations available. To keep passengers occupied during the crossings she had an indoor swimming pool, a squash court, a gymnasium and even a Turkish Bath. To help passengers stay in contact with business or friends at home, she was equipped with a Marconi radio transmitter and receiver which was staffed 24 hours a day. The facilities in the first class staterooms were unmatched at sea and even rivaled many of the finest shore side accommodations. The quality and variety of food on board was exquisite and the level of service was superb. vIn addition to the formal dining room, Titanic also offered her first class passengers more personal service in the Verandah restaurant where they could order from a special a-la-carte menu. Much like transatlantic crossings today, during days at sea Titanic passengers could enjoy music, stroll along an enclosed promenade, or relax in a deck chair with a book selected from an extensive ship's library.

Accommodations for second class and steerage passengers, while nowhere near the luxury of first class, were nonetheless superior to many of the top accommodations found on other ships.

This new level of luxury and service attracted the elite of British and American society and as a result, Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage with a passenger list that included an unmatched list of celebrities. She also attracted a large number of steerage passengers who were drawn by her size and reputation as a safe ship. While Titanic sported 4 funnels, only three of them were functional - the fourth funnel was added for cosmetic and marketing purposes.

She left Southampton at noon on Wednesday April 10th and proceeded across the English channel to Cherbourg, France where she stopped briefly to pick up additional passengers. Her departure from Southampton was not without incident as Titanic nearly collided with a steamer after the suction of her three propellers snapped the steamer New York's lines and drew her toward Titanic. Captain Smith avoided the collision by cutting Titanic's engines and using the port propeller's wash to keep the ships apart.

In Cherbourg, events went more smoothly and after picking up passengers from tenders, Titanic proceeded northwest to Queenstown, Ireland to pick up her final group of New York-bound passengers. She also dropped off a few very lucky Queenstown-bound passengers. On the evening of April 11th, she left Queenstown and headed out into the Atlantic.

As she headed east, she took the southern track which followed the arc of a great circle from Fastnet rock to the Nantucket Shoals Lightship. This was considered the safest route to avoid the dangers of thick pack ice and large icebergs typically found in more northerly waters at that time of year.

As Captain Smith gradually increased her speed to 22 knots, the experienced passengers on board began to settle into the normal routines of a crossing - getting to know their fellow passengers, exploring the ship, and dressing for diner. Weather was clear and relatively warm, since the winter of 1912 had been uncharacteristically mild. Unfortunately for Titanic, this mild winter had caused an unusually large amount of ice to break away and drift south into the shipping lanes.

With nice weather and smooth seas, passengers in all classes enjoyed four pleasant days at sea. On Sunday, April 14th, the weather began to change and the temperature began to fall. Titanic received at lest five different warnings of ice ahead, but since they had not spotted any ice yet, Captain Smith saw little reason to reduce Titanic's speed.

Later that evening, the wireless operator received a sixth ice warning, but since he was an employee of Marconi - not White Star - and his primary job was to send passenger's messages to shore rather than relay messages to the bridge, this final warning was put aside until thing settled down in the wireless room.

Outside the temperature continued to drop but the moonless, star-filled sky remained clear. At 11:40, lookout Fredrick Fleet spotted an iceberg dead ahead. He rang the bridge and First Officer Murdoch responded by ordering Titanic turned hard to port and the engines full astern. As a result, Titanic began a slow turn away from the iceberg. Unfortunately, she was too close and moving too fast, and her starboard side brushed against the berg.

Surprisingly the impact against the iceberg was barely felt by most passengers with many sleeping through the entire incident. A number of the passengers awake at the time thought Titanic had just barely touched the iceberg or missed it completely. Very few believed the ship had been seriously damaged and some even played football with pieces of ice that had fallen from the berg to the ships foredeck.

Contrary to most reports at the time (and for the next 72 years), Titanic did not suffer a "huge gash" but rather an extended separation of her hull plates. The result was a very small, but very long opening to the sea that doomed the ship.

Soon after the collision, Captain Smith summoned the Titanic's builder, Thomas Andrews to accompany him on a tour of the damage. After visiting the forward section of the ship, Andrews informed Captain Smith that the damage was fatal and that the ship would probably sink within two hours. Ironically, had the lookouts not seen the iceberg and Titanic rammed the berg head-on, the damage would have been limited to her bow compartments and she likely would have made it safely to land.

Just after midnight the crew was instructed to begin waking passengers and advised them to dress warmly, put on their life jackets and report to their lifeboat stations. Since the lifeboats could only accommodate about 1,100 passengers, it was decided that women and children would be put into the boats first.

Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons including, language, location and social class, passengers in second class and steerage did not arrive at their boat stations until much later, after many of the lifeboats had already left. As a consequence, a greater percentage of these passengers perished.

All of the boats were launched by 2:00 am. and the remaining passengers began moving toward the gradually rising stern. As the bow dropped deeper into the cold water the ship's band continued to play a variety of popular music - although contrary to popular perception it is unlikely they ever played the hymn "Nearer my God to thee"

By 2:10 am, the angle of the deck was so steep that the band could no longer stand to play and they probably joined the growing crowd struggling to climb up the deck. Finally, at 2:15 the weight of the bow section became so heavy that the hull actually fractured and the stern section of the ship separated.

As the water-filled bow plunged toward the bottom, the mostly empty stern, righted itself temporarily and then quickly filled with water and joined the bow on a two and a half mile plunge to the cold Atlantic floor. Of the 2,400 passengers that left for New York on Titanic, only 705 had made it into lifeboats. The remaining 1,502 passengers perished - with many left struggling in the near freezing water.

According to the formal British inquiry, the breakdown of survivors was as follows: First class: 203 (62%) saved, 122 (38%) lost
Second class 118 (41%) saved, 167 (59%) lost
Steerage class 178 (25%) saved, 528 (75%) lost
Crew 212 (24%) saved, 673 (76%) lost

Just before 4:00 am on the morning of April 15th, the survivors saw a faint light on the horizon. Soon thereafter, they saw rockets in the sky fired by the Cunard liner Carpathia. She was the first of the rescue vessels to reach Titanic's last reported position and she had raced heroically through the night dodging icebergs and the surrounding ice fields in a desperate attempt to reach the stricken liner.

Carpathia began picking up survivors as dawn broke and by mid morning it was over. By 8:30 am all of the surviving passengers and the Titanic's lifeboats, all that remained of the largest ship afloat, were aboard and she headed for New York. She arrived there on the evening April 18th and was mobbed by hopeful families and a waiting press.

Today Titanic rests on the bottom of the North Atlantic 2 1/2 miles down at approximately - latitude 41o 46'N, longitude 50o 14'W. The wreck was located 73 years after she went down, by Dr. Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It was Dr. Ballard who was able to confirm the previous reports that the ship had broken in two before she sank.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.74 + 2.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.46 + 3.41%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.06 - 3.64%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.67 + 2.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 (now a museum ship/hotel in Rotterdam) had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - The first(and only) ship to operate with five funnels was the 700 foot long GREAT EASTERN which entered service in 1860
courtesy of Jonathan Miller.


Cruise News - April 8, 2019

Holland America Line to Call Next Pinnacle Class Ship Ryndam
In a nod to its long line of historic ships that helped build the foundation for cruising as we know it today, Holland America Line announced that its next Pinnacle Class ship will be called Ryndam. The newbuild, due for delivery in May 2021, will be the fourth ship in the company's history to carry the name.

Ryndam will be similar to sister ships Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, measuring 99,500 tons and carrying 2,662 guests. As the third in the series, Ryndam will feature enhanced Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations, along with Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry.

"Holland America Line honors the timeless tradition of cruising while also embracing new innovations for today's travelers, and the name Ryndam reflects the unique history of this company while honoring previous ships that were progressive in their time as this last Ryndam will be," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "From the first Ryndam more than 100 years ago to the most recent, the namesake ships have been beloved by our guests. The next Ryndam will bring new life to one of the most notable series of vessels in our history."

The steel cutting for Ryndam, signifying the official beginning of the building process, was held March 13, 2019 at Fincantieri's shipyard in Marghera, Italy. This will be the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by the Italian shipbuilder, which most recently delivered Nieuw Statendam.

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Australia and now cruises as Pacific Aria.

Carnival Mardi Gras To Debut Premium 'Carnival Excel' Suites
Carnival Cruise Line today unveiled more details on the numerous accommodation choices guests will have on its highly-anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, which will feature more than 180 suites across 11 styles, including the new premium category Carnival Excel suites with select amenities and access to a new resort-style, open-air enclave called Loft 19.

"As we continue to announce details on Mardi Gras, guests will see that this ship is going to have more choices to stay and more choices to play," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "All of our accommodations have been designed to exceed our guests' expectations, and the suite offerings will kick that up a notch or two for those who want an extra special Choose Fun vacation."

The new premium suite level on Mardi Gras includes 32 suites in four categories:

• Carnival Excel Presidential Suite –Two Presidential Suites – the largest in the fleet – located on Deck 17 that feature spacious living, dining and sleeping areas along with the fleet's most expansive balconies with vast sea views, large sunbed and lounging areas, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and shower. These suites also include access to the spa's thermal suite and the Havana pool area.

• Carnival Excel Aft Suite – Twelve suites overlooking Summer Landing and boasting separate living rooms and bedrooms with large wraparound balconies offering impressive ocean views, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and areas for al fresco dining and relaxing.

• Carnival Excel Corner Suite – Twelve suites on the port and starboard sides of the ship featuring separate sleeping and lounging areas, a wet bar and wraparound balconies with lounging and dining areas.

• Carnival Excel Suite – Six suites on Decks 10, 11 and 12 with sleeping, dining and relaxing areas. The spacious balconies include loungers and a dining area.

All suites onboard Mardi Gras will include an amenities package that includes priority boarding and debarkation, priority main dining room seating, plush bathrobes and bottled water upon arrival.

Guests in the 32 Carnival Excel suites will enjoy standard suite amenities plus the following:

• Unlimited access to Loft 19

• Dedicated concierge phone line

• Guaranteed specialty dining times (with the exception of Bonsai Teppanyaki and the Chef's Table)

• Complimentary Bottomless Bubbles soda package, room service and laundry

• Sparkling wine and fresh fruit basket upon arrival

• Upgraded bathroom amenities

Located on the ship's highest deck, Loft 19 is a brand new concept for Carnival Cruise Line – a secluded retreat modeled after the world's finest resorts with full bar service, a private pool surrounded by sun loungers and spacious cabanas, available for rent. Cabanas are fully stocked with beverages, plush robes and chilled towels, fresh fruit, lunch delivery and dedicated concierge service. Carnival Excel suite guests will receive priority when reserving Loft 19 cabanas.

In addition to the Carnival Excel class suites, Mardi Gras will also feature:

• Ocean Suites –separate sleeping and lounging areas with ergonomically-friendly design.

• Tropics-inspired Havana Suites – private patios with a swing chair and direct access to The Lanai.

• Extra-roomy Family Harbor Suites – nautical décor, large-scale windows and toddler benches.

• Cloud 9 Spa Suites – with special spa privileges such as two fitness classes, access to the ship's Thermal Suite and a scrub kit.

The new suite options are in addition to the wide ranging Mardi Gras accommodations previously announced, which are distinguished by turquoise hues and enhanced by design touches like floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors; new sofas that "flip" into beds; more 110V power outlets and USB connections than on any other ship; flexible bedside reading lamps; a larger, more customizable wardrobe with extensive storage options; and spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

MSC Cruises Unveils Plans For Multi-Cruise Ship Terminal At PortMiami
MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise company, announced today details of a new highly-innovative cruise terminal at PortMiami that will support its expanding presence in North America and in the Caribbean in particular.

As per the terms of the agreement, which has today received approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, MSC Cruises will design, construct, operate and maintain a large building that hosts two cruise terminals (AA and AAA) as well as two berths. Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, MSC Cruises' exclusive new PortMiami terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, allowing the Company to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously, handling up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, said: "With another 13 cruise vessels due to join our fleet in the next eight years, our ambition is to have our most innovative ship classes represented at PortMiami, bringing a wealth of choice to our North American as well as international guests.

"In particular, the new terminal – which will be one of the most innovative the industry has seen – will ensure that we can provide our guests an enhanced end-to-end high-quality experience while both embarking and disembarking, thus adding to their ability to fully enjoy every moment of their vacation."

MSC Cruises currently operates four vessels out of PortMiami: MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round; MSC Divina seasonally; and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this fall, seasonally. With the new cruise facilities, MSC Cruises will bring a total 1 million guests through PortMiami each year.

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the Company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new Terminal.

Seabourn Unveils Public Spaces On New Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn has given travelers their first glimpse of select public spaces on its two new purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, the Expedition Lounge, Discovery Center, Landing Zone, and Atrium are masterfully designed spaces that will act as the communal hub on Seabourn Venture and another yet-to-be-named sister ship.

The Expedition Lounge, Discovery Center, and Landing Zone are new spaces for Seabourn that will be instrumental in creating a sense of awe and adventure for expedition travelers on board amidst an environment of exceptional, intuitive service. Each aims to capture the romanticism of early explorers and the thrill of discovery with thoughtful details and materials that are very tactile- very 'elemental' - capturing the sense of ruggedness that comes with expedition travel while maintaining pristine luxury and comfort. Tihany is also creating all indoor and outdoor guest areas on the two new ships.

"When you conjure up images of the ideal adventure trip, you would head out into the stunning wilderness for the day knowing that when you return a cozy, welcoming space filled with luxurious materials like leathers and rich woods that invites relaxation and conversation awaits you," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's president. "Each of these newly designed spaces hits that note perfectly, leaving our guests wanting for nothing and giving them an inviting place to talk to fellow travelers each day about the incredible experiences they had, sharing memorable stories or viewing photos they took."

Specific details on each of the spaces include:

Expedition Lounge: The Expedition Lounge, located on Deck 4, is the heart of the ship. A gathering place for the curious, guests are invited to relax or linger with a complimentary cocktail or glass of fine wine from the bar as they share photos and stories from the day with their fellow travelers and the onboard staff. The Expedition Lounge will be central to the Seabourn expedition operation where guests convene before and after expeditions each day.

Custom furniture designed in a variety of warm, natural materials creates an inviting, tactile atmosphere. An ode to the adventurous, the Expedition Lounge features an etched glass partition displaying a vintage map of Antarctica and vitrines showcasing intricate tools and devices of the trade. Two large touchscreens will also display a wealth of information including photos, navigational charts, weather charts, and maps.

Discovery Center: The Discovery Center, which is adjacent to the Expedition Lounge on Deck 4, acts as the teaching & academic center for natural history and cultural programming in an environment spacious enough to accommodate all guests at one time. Each day, guests will visit this venue for insightful lectures, briefings, and Seabourn Conversations enrichment programming designed to help educate them throughout their expedition experience. The world-class 26-person expedition team of wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists will deliver rich, insightful lectures and discussions on a broad array of topics related to the region where guests are sailing. Inspired by the compelling landscape of some of the expedition destinations, the Discovery Center incorporates the organic shapes of topography maps against the elegant curves of the plush custom seating.

Audio-visual experiences will come to life through high-definition screens 2.5 meters high by 10 meters wide, showing a variety of programming to create a captivating experience that whets the appetite and creates excitement for each destination. Footage from daily submarine voyages will also be shown, providing an enticing look at the undersea world and the marine life that calls it home.

Landing Zone: The launch and recovery point for landings, each of the two Landing Zones – Port & Starboard, both located on Deck 3 - will be a generous 60 square meters in size, allowing guests to change and clean their gear in comfort while also providing space to store their rubber boots. The Landing Zone, commonly known as a mud room, has been designed for extreme functionality and accessibility with a durable material palette and optimum location on the ship to allow guests direct access to one of the 24 Zodiacs available for off-ship adventures. In tropical areas, the Landing Zones will also be used for snorkeling and similar activities, with storage space for fins and masks. Guests will move through the two Landing Zones in small groups distributed evenly to keep waiting time and crowding to a minimum for excursion departures. From the Landing Zones, the attentive staff will guide guests down one flight of stairs to Deck 2, where guests step directly from the ship into the Zodiacs to head off across the water or onward to a landing point ashore.

Atrium: The Atrium is a focal point on all Seabourn ships with its elegant winding staircase. On Seabourn's expedition ships, the sky lit space will continue the wood and metal detailing present throughout the ship with details such as rhythmically placed ropework in place of more traditional spindles and a topography inspired wall treatment. Suspended at the center of the Atrium and echoed again at its base is a captivating art display emulating traditional wind measuring instruments.

More details about public spaces and suites on the new expedition ships will continue to be revealed in the coming months. Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in mid-2019.

Tihany was the creative vision behind the luxury yacht inspired interiors on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, the line's two newest ships, which have been welcomed to the fleet to wide acclaim. He also designed interiors for The Grill by Thomas Keller restaurant on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest.

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for areas including multiple expedition spaces and lounges; all categories of luxurious guest suites; multiple dining venues; Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil; outdoor deck areas; and the innovative and popular Seabourn Square multi-purpose space. Tihany's Product Design arm is designing a bespoke furniture collection for the expedition ships

Azamara Club Cruises Announces 15 New AzAmazing Evenings Experiences
Azamara Club Cruises—the boutique, up-market cruise line committed to providing Destination Immersion experiences—has launched 15 new AzAmazing Evenings, the brand's signature evening events designed to connect guests to the local culture of a destination. Exclusive to Azamara, AzAmazing Evenings are unique to each location and feature local talent and performances, and in many occasions hosted in historic venues, including The Odeon of Ancient Ephesus in Turkey and The Solìs Theatre in Uruguay.

"Committed to our award-winning Destination Immersion programming, we are constantly looking for new and enhanced experiences ashore to deliver authentic travel moments to our guests, while immersing them with the local culture, food, and people," said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "From Oman to China, Spain to Australia, each AzAmazing Evenings event is tailored to the destination and allows guests to more intimately connect with the local culture."

Highlights from the new AzAmazing Evenings Include:

Lura at Pateo Da Gale
Embarking from Barcelona on May 28, 2019, guests sailing on the 14-Night Tall Sails and Remembrance Voyage will traverse Lisbon's cobblestone streets, making way to one of Europe's most magnificent squares, Terreiro do Paço. With cocktails upon arrival, guests will enjoy the rhythms of colonial-rooted, Funana—an upbeat, accordion-based type of music—performed by Portuguese singer and musician, Lura. Azamara passengers will also enjoy the sounds of Bombo—a traditional, Portuguese Brass Drum—demonstrated by the esteemed, Toca Rufar Orchestra.

A Musical Tribute to the Knights of Rhodes
Setting sail on June 19, 2019, guests on the 10-Night Greece Intensive Voyage will delve into knighthood through a musical journey at the historic, colossal Grand Master's Palace—a palatial structure originally built in the 7th century as a Byzantine Citadel and held by the Crusaders—in Rhodes, Greece. Palace partakers will explore the site's towers, walls and torch-lit hallways, eventually becoming audience members of a musical tribute to the Knights of Rome performed by a four-piece classical orchestra with tenor and soprano.

Traditional Korean Performance at Busan Culture Center
Departing on August 21, 2019 the 14-Night Circle Japan Intensive Voyage will provide passengers an enjoyable, exclusive evening at the Busan Cultural Center—an esteemed venue dedicated to showing Korean heritage, music and art—in Busan, South Korea. Commencing with a cocktail hour, guests will marvel as local experts perform time-honored, Korean folk dances and demonstrate the powerful art of taekwondo.

AzAmazing Evenings are complimentary, held once a voyage and encouraged to be reserved prior to departure date. AzAmazing Evenings are offered on sailings seven-nights or longer with the exception of transatlantic voyages.

Azamara Club Cruises' will announce the list of 2020 and 2021 AzAmazing Evenings in June 2019.

Royal Princess Offers Robust Entertainment Offerings
Princess Cruises' newest and largest cruise ship to sail from the West Coast – Royal Princess – offers guests a unique opportunity to hear from an impressive line-up of celebrity speakers as they sail to the sunny Mexican Riviera.

Now through April 27, 2019, Royal Princess departs on seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro, Calif.) before heading up for a new Alaska season in early May. Princess Cruises has the longest history of any cruise line to sail from the Port of Los Angeles, not to mention its celebrity status as the ocean-going co-star to the many exciting stories of romance and adventure on the high seas on the hit TV series, "The Love Boat."

"With the recent debut of Royal Princess on the West Coast, we're excited to share with our guests a group of dynamic and noteworthy celebrity speakers," said Denise Saviss, vice president, entertainment experience at Princess Cruises. "With motivating personal stories, poignant life moments and career highlights to share, our guests are sure to walk away impressed and inspired."

Guests sailing aboard Royal Princess will enjoy getting to know a host of celebrities as part of the cruise line's Encounters with Discovery speaker series, including:

April 6-13, 2019
Oscar-Winning Make-Up Artist Michael Westmore
Michael Westmore is a renowned make-up artist best known for his work in various Star Trek productions, winning nine Emmy Awards. He is a member of the prominent Westmore family and is part of the fourth generation to serve Hollywood as a make-up artist. His career began at Universal Studios in 1961 and spanned four decades, including partnering with the CIA creating make-up kits for spies overseas. He won an Academy Award for Best Make-Up in 1985 for his work on the film Mask.

April 13-20, 2019
Award-Winning Composer, Producer and Arranger John Mauceri
John Mauceri's distinguished and extraordinary career has brought him not only to the world's greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia. Regarded as the world's leading performer of the music of Hollywood's émigré composers, he has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many kinds of music and has supervised/conducted premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Bernstein, Hindemith, Elfman, Ives, and Shore. As an accomplished recording artist, Mauceri has over 70 albums to his name, and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Cannes Classique, Billboard, two Diapasons d'Or, three Emmys, and four Deutsche Schallplatten Awards.

April 20-27, 2019
TV Host and Daredevil Tory Belleci
Best known for his work on the Discovery Channel television program Mythbusters, Tory Belluci is an American television personality and model maker. He is often considered, by fellow MythBusters Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, to be more of a daredevil and, as such, often performs the more dangerous stunts when testing a myth. These have included: testing the "Red Flag to a Bull" myth; testing the myth that a human's tongue will instantly stick to a frozen pole, in the "Snow Special" episode; and the myth "can you stay underwater for an hour while breathing through a dart tube?" in the "Ninja Movie Myths 2" episode.

April 27-May 4, 2019
Author, Butler to HM Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell is a former staff member of the British Royal Household. He was a footman for Queen Elizabeth II and later butler to Diana, Princess of Wales. Since her death in 1997, Burrell has been featured prominently in the media in connection with her, and since 2004 as an occasional entertainment show celebrity. In 2003, Burrell released his memoir A Royal Duty, which follows his career as a member of the Royal Family's staff. It deals in detail with his time as butler to the Prince and Princess of Wales at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, his move to Diana's staff at Kensington Palace after her divorce from Prince Charles and Burrell's acquittal on theft charges. The book was an international best-seller.

May 4-11, 2019
2018 Miss America Cara Mund
Cara Mund is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Bismarck, North Dakota. In June 2017, she was crowned Miss North Dakota and in September 2017, Mund was crowned Miss America 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Along with the title of Miss America, she received a $50,000 scholarship. Mund is the first contestant from North Dakota to win the Miss America title. She is also the last Miss America to ever compete in the swimsuit portion of competition. During her reign, Mund served as the 2018 National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and worked closely with the USO.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.51 + 0.61 %
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.42 + 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.10 - 0.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.29 + 2.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - The Queen Elizabeth was docked at Port Everglades, Florida and open to the public until it was declared a fire hazard.
courtesy of Rich C. The Villages, Florida


Cruise News - April 1, 2019

Princess Cruises Announces Most Destination-Rich World Cruise
For more than two decades, Princess Cruises has been taking guests to iconic and off-the-beaten-path global destinations on annual World Cruises, offering the ultimate bucket-list vacation. The cruise line today announced its most robust 2021 World Cruise itinerary ever with more ports and countries than ever before.

World Travelers seeking an epic adventure around the globe need to look no further than Princess Cruises and the cruise line's 2021 World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America. The 111-day World Cruise will visit 50 destinations in 32 countries, across six continents, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and North America.

The 111-day roundtrip voyage from Ft. Lauderdale departs on January 3, 2021, and the 111-day roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles departs January 17, 2021. A 97-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale is also offered, setting sail on January 17, 2021.

"Our 2021 World Cruise marks a significant milestone for Princess Cruises, with it being our most robust itinerary," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Guests will sail more than 34,000 nautical miles on an ultimate adventure around the globe, creating unforgettable memories."

The 2021 111-day World Cruise aboard Island Princess is on sale now with rates starting at $19,999/person. Guests booking the 97- or 111-day World Cruise before November 30, 2019 receive early booking perks such as a $1,000 onboard spending money, free airfare, stateroom upgrade, gratuities, Wi-Fi, specialty dining and wine.

New and interesting details about the 2021 World Cruise include:

• Cruise to 50 destinations, 32 countries on six continents.

• Visits to 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Archaeological City of Petra from Aqaba, the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in Turkey and the historical city of Rabat from Casablanca.

• Island Princess will sail 34,000 nautical miles in 111 days.

• The World Cruise crosses the Equator two times.

• Maiden port calls to the beautiful seaside town of Gynthion, Greece; New Plymouth, New Zealand; and Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands.

• An optional overland excursion to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Australian Outback, home of the iconic Ayers Rock.

• With 14 late-night "More Ashore" stays to maximize time in port, guests can take in a Tahitian sunset or make a toast to the nightlife in Singapore, plus be treated to overnight stays in ultra-modern Dubai and magical Venice.

Island Princess makes her World Cruise debut in 2021, featuring more than 700 balconies, Princess Luxury Bed in each stateroom, more specialty and casual dining options and more entertainment venues for live music and lavish production shows like The Secret Silk by Broadway Legend Stephen Schwartz. World Cruise guests will be treated to Encounters with Discovery speaker series that includes authors, artists, explorers and more, as well as culinary demonstrations, cooking classes, special-themed menus, foreign movies and regional folkloric shows to bring the destinations to life.

Virgin Voyages announcing RockStar Private Jet Transfers
Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today announced it is upping the ante, and means of transportation for its RockStar Suites Sailors.

Inspired by The Runway, the red running track that sits atop of the ship like a halo, on Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages will soon give its Sailors the runway they deserve on its second ship. All Sailors staying in RockStar Suites will now arrive and depart via private jet transfer– so pop the champagne because the sky is no longer the limit with Virgin Voyages.

“From the sky to the sea, our RockStar Suite Sailors will truly live the glamorous life of a rockstar icon from the moment they begin their holiday. Why walk aboard the ship when you can fly,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages has thrown out traditional clichés – and modes of transportation – on stuffy luxury and formalities with their RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. The Suites bring a fresh take to yachting glamour steeped in the Virgin brand’s rock and roll heritage. Inspired by mega yachts and the glory days of rock and roll where stars like Queen, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones reigned supreme, the RockStar Suites feature a retro-futurism design with a palette of deep blues used with iridescent dichroic elements to echo the deep blue sea.

RockStar Suites Sailors will live their best lives all taken care of with VIP private jet transfer, early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants and Shore Things. Upon disembarking the jet, Virgin Voyages RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service-- because no rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.

Kelly Arison to Serve as Godmother of Carnival Sunrise
As Carnival Sunrise makes her debut following her $200 million transformation, Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, will serve as godmother for the ship at an invitation-only ceremony in New York on May 23.

In what is sure to be a touching moment, Kelly will step into the godmother role previously held by her mother when the ship first entered service as Carnival Triumph, in 1999. In an added stroke of family ties, Kelly’s grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise’s sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

Carnival Sunrise’s naming ceremony will take place aboard the ship at the Manhattan Cruise Passenger Terminal and will serve as a platform to heighten awareness of the work of the Ehlers-Danlos Society, an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Kelly is a strong advocate. Carnival will be making a donation to the Ehlers-Danlos Society during the ceremony.

“It is truly an honor to carry on my family’s cherished tradition and join the esteemed women who have so admirably carried out their role as a Carnival godmother over the years,” said Kelly. “This ceremony will not only serve as an exciting and memorable way to officially introduce the spectacular Carnival Sunrise to the Carnival fleet but also raise awareness of an organization very near and dear to my heart, the Ehlers-Danlos Society.”

“Carnival Cruise Line is proud and delighted that Kelly will serve in this role as she officially names Carnival Sunrise,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “And given the family ties to this ship in particular, we are planning to include some special guests that mean a lot to the Arison family and have played an important part in the history of Carnival Cruise Line.”

Carnival Sunrise’s inaugural season includes four- to 14-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., and New York to Bermuda, Canada and the Caribbean through September. The ship will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a winter season of Caribbean and Bahamian voyages beginning in October 2019 before heading back to New York in spring 2020.

Guests sailing aboard Carnival Sunrise will enjoy a wide range of entertainment options, along with open-air attractions like a new WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare featuring a suspended ropes course. New dining offerings include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and the Caribbean-themed Red Frog Pub.

All of the ship’s staterooms have been updated with island-inspired interiors featuring bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by the line’s Caribbean itineraries, along with new choices such as luxurious Captain’s Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge offering floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suites.

Norwegian Bliss Completes Caribbean Inaugural Season
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, today celebrates the end of Norwegian Bliss’ Caribbean season as well as her return to the West Coast for a summer of Mexican Riviera and Alaska cruising beginning April 14, 2019.

Departing tomorrow for the West Coast, Norwegian Bliss will cross the Panama Canal, returning to Los Angeles for Mexican Riviera sailings throughout April before joining sister ship, Norwegian Joy, in Seattle for a summer of Alaska cruising. Both ships are the largest to homeport on the West Coast and will continue to expand Norwegian’s presence and the popularity of cruising in the region.

“Norwegian Bliss continues to exceed our expectations as our guests and travel partners continue to truly enjoy her stunning design and innovative offerings,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are thrilled that Norwegian Bliss homeported in our home of Miami and we are looking forward to seeing her once again return to the West Coast to meet her sister, Norwegian Joy, for the first time.”

Norwegian Bliss has set a new standard for contemporary cruising and holds several world records on the West Coast, including being the largest ship to be christened in Seattle, homeport in Los Angeles, call to Vancouver and San Francisco, and traverse the new locks of the Panama Canal from both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Norwegian Bliss will return to the East Coast in November 2019 for a winter season of Caribbean cruising from New York City through early 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Cruise Director for Carnival Sunrise
Continuing to build excitement around next month’s debut of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that Christopher Williams will serve as cruise director and Katie Romitz as entertainment director for the ship’s inaugural season when it launches in April following an extensive dry dock.

Previously sailing as Carnival Triumph, the ship is currently undergoing a $200 million bow-to-stern transformation in Cadiz, Spain, and will re-emerge as Carnival Sunrise featuring all of the line’s popular, branded food, beverage and entertainment experiences.

Williams and Romitz will lead Carnival Sunrise’s vast array of entertainment offerings from legendary deck parties and hilarious shows at Punchliner Comedy Club to trivia games and audience favorites such as Hasbro, The Game Show; CLUE: The Murder Mystery; and, of course, the award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

An eight-year Carnival veteran, Williams, a native of Scotland – and best known as the “Flying Scotsman” – joined the company as a singer and Playlist Productions performer before being named cruise director, serving in this capacity on the line’s newest and largest ships. Known for his gregarious personality and easy banter with guests, Williams’ role as cruise director is to create a fun, engaging and welcoming environment while helping guests create lifelong vacation memories.

Romitz, who hails from Ontario, Canada, joined Carnival in 2013 as an entertainment host and was named media manager two years after where she focused on shipboard marketing channels such as FunTimes and the HUB App. Combining her love for travel, passion for cruising and keen attention to detail, Romitz was named entertainment director last year. She will oversee all of the ship’s entertainment options and will put her skills and enthusiasm into planning, organizing and scheduling the hundreds of activity and entertainment choices each week.

“Chris and Katie are the absolute perfect duo to introduce Carnival Sunrise,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Line. “Their energy and passion will help guests create wonderful vacation memories.”

Carnival Sunrise debuts April 29, 2019, with a seven-day Caribbean cruise from Norfolk, Va., followed by a series of five-and six-day Bahamas voyages from that port. The ship will then reposition to New York for a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures commencing May 23, 2019, including sailings to Bermuda, New England and Canada. Beginning Oct. 28, 2019, Carnival Sunrise will shift to Fort Lauderdale to operate a winter schedule of cruises to the Caribbean, Cuba and Bahamas.

Carnival Sunrise will offer an array of popular culinary, beverage and entertainment offerings including guest favorites Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, The Chef’s Table, Cucina del Capitano, RedFrog Pub; as well as totally redesigned staterooms, including two luxurious Captain Suites adjacent to the bridge; an expanded WaterWorks aqua park; and Cloud 9 Spa, among other features.

Holland America Line Introduces New Craft Cocktail Menu
Holland America Line is introducing an exclusive craft cocktail menu developed by Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff — known as King Cocktail, author of two bestselling cocktail books and founding president of The Museum of the American Cocktail. The new craft cocktail menu of seven specialty drinks showcases the craft cocktail movement and embodies Holland America Line's commitment to being at the forefront of food and beverage trends. Four of the featured cocktails are destined to become modern classics and highlight young mixologists who are leaders in the craft cocktail movement.

Since 2016 DeGroff has directed Holland America Line's cocktail program to introduce new, innovative libations in the bars on board. Holland America Line ships currently feature a contemporary menu of artfully prepared signature cocktails, as well as some unique originals developed by the 2015 James Beard Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America inductee.

"Dale and our beverage team have put together an exceptional new craft cocktail menu that is an expressive collection of drinks created by some of the foremost experts in the craft cocktail world," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We're continuously working with Dale to evolve our cocktail menus to be on the cutting edge of what's trending and what's going to resonate with our guests."

The new craft cocktail menu includes:

• Foggy Boulevardier: As impressive as it is delicious, this eclectic drink has a mysterious vibe thanks to its smoky presentation. This twist on a Boulevardier will be served in the Ocean Bar and feature Ratafia, a wine-based cherry liquor from Italy.

• Alliance: An original drink by DeGroff and Tony Abou-Ganim, an industry veteran and author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails. The Alliance was created for the Trade Board of Peru to feature the unique Peruvian brandy, pisco.

• Flor de Jerez: Created by Joaquin Simó at the famous Death & Co. craft cocktail bar in New York City.

• Oaxaca Old Fashioned: Phil Ward is an alumnus of both Death & Co. and Pegu Club, bars that defined the recent craft cocktail movement in New York City. He created this classic

• Old Fashioned variation that features agave spirits in place of whiskey.

• Penicillin: This is one of the rare, successful cocktails based on malt scotch whisky. Australian bartender Sam Ross paired an Islay whisky and a blended scotch with honey, lemon and ginger and created a modern classic.

• Red Hook: Enzo Enrico began as a barback at Milk & Honey in London and then moved to bartending at Milk & Honey, New York City. This is Enrico's tribute to New York's Red Hook neighborhood made famous by the 1954 classic movie On the Waterfront.

• Strange Brew: This unusual combination of a hoppy IPA brew, gin and pineapple was created by bartender Thomas Waugh at Death & Co in New York. Waugh is also director of bar operations at Major Food Group.

In addition to the new craft cocktail menu, DeGroff's signature cocktails are served in the Gallery Bar and in other shipboard bars and lounges, including the Ocean Bar, the Explorer's Lounge, the Crow's Nest and Tamarind Bar, as well as more casual outlets such as the Lido pool bar. The signature cocktail menu includes the Gallery Gimlet, Hemingway Daiquiri, Yuzu Margarita, The Ritz Cocktail, Whiskey and Joe, Another Shade of Greyhound, and a Slightly Less Than Perfect, Perfect Manhattan.

In addition to creating exclusive cocktails for all Holland America Line bars, DeGroff also oversees beverage staff training to ensure the cocktails are crafted to perfection.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.19 - 7.87%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 115.61 + 0.97%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.11 - 6.72%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.11 + 1.70%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - The interesting feature that Canberra had that made some of the inside cabins were windows that looked out into a "court". These cabins, called "court cabins", were built in such a way that the they were staggered down the corridor and the wall of the innermost cabin jutted slightly passed that of the more outer cabin and had a window placed there - thus light from the outside would penetrate these inside cabins. They were usually 3 deep.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - March 25, 2019

Viking Sky Reaches Port After Losing Engine Power During Heavy Seas
Viking Ocean Cruises' Viking Sky has safely arrived at the port of Molde in Norway after a harrowing ordeal that started when the ship's engines failed during a storm off the country's western coast on Saturday.

Viking Sky first broadcast a mayday signal after experiencing engine problems on Saturday in the Norwegian Sea. At the time, the ship was carrying nearly 1,400 passengers and crew, many of whom were senior citizens.

The engine trouble occurred in a stretch of waters known for rough, frigid waters called Hustadvika, which is known for "shallow waters dotted with reefs." To make matters worse, the engine problems came during a storm with strong winds gusting at a speed of roughly 79 feet per second, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

"It was very nearly a disaster. The ship drifted to within 100 meters of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines," Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.

Dramatic rescues were underway on Saturday as passengers on the ship were airlifted on a wire one-by-one onto helicopters that hovered above while the ship tossed in the waves.

According to Norwegian authorities, a total of 479 people were evacuated, and by the time the ship arrived in the port of Molde on Norway's west coast, about 900 people were still on board. Officials for Viking Ocean Cruises said that 20 people suffered injuries.

Viking Sky’s March 27th sailing of Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal has been cancelled and guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. Viking Ocean Cruises said that they did not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time.

New Mexican Cruise Line Announced
Vidanta, Grupo Vidanta's luxury vacationing brand, today announced its entry into cruising, transforming the industry by bringing new levels of luxury, comfort, and exclusivity to the Mexican coastline. Vidanta Cruises' first ship, Vidanta Elegant, will welcome members and guests aboard later this year, with its first voyage in the fall of 2019. This endeavor further distinguishes Grupo Vidanta as the only provider of luxury accommodations in Mexico operating both on land and sea

The launch of Vidanta Cruises marks Mexico's first-ever luxury cruise line. Voyage itineraries are currently being finalized and will provide access to routes that no other cruise line is offering. Through Vidanta Cruises, guests will experience the high-end luxury lifestyle of Vidanta, combined with the freedom and fulfillment of a cruise vacation.

"Vidanta is proud to bring a revolutionary new approach to cruising," said Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President of Grupo Vidanta. "We have built a legacy 45 years in the making based on the extraordinary luxury and personalized service offered by our resort vacations. Now we're extending that legacy to the open sea while utilizing our unique perspective as a Mexican company to give access to the hidden gems of the coastline and rarely offered transformative cultural experiences."

Vidanta Cruises' maiden vessel, Vidanta Elegant (formerly Crown Monarch, built in 1990), promises an unprecedented level of luxury. After acquiring a ship, Vidanta stripped and rebuilt it from the hull up, performing bespoke construction throughout. With the help of the best maritime engineers and architects in the world, including industry leader SMC Design, Vidanta Elegant will provide guests with an exceptionally sophisticated and stylish experience.

Boasting 149 beautiful staterooms and suites and a one-to-one passenger-to-crew ratio, Vidanta Elegant is a modern masterpiece of privacy and exclusivity. Each of the accommodations reflects comfort, style and spaciousness with stunning exterior views. By reducing the number of cabins, Vidanta was able to not only create a more intimate experience, but also to create sizable and striking accommodations more generous than suite-level units on traditional cruises. Guests will also enjoy the attentive service of a Personal Concierge assigned to their cabin available to attend to their every need.

At 153 meters long and 15,396 gross tons, the ship is also outfitted with six public decks and dining areas, 11 bars and lounges, an entertainment venue, a full-service spa and fitness center, a top deck pool and several jacuzzis. In order to create a dining experience that is second to none, Vidanta Elegant will feature two highly awarded culinary veterans as its signature chefs: Chef Eric Pansu, named Best Chef in France, and Pastry Chef Pascal Molines, named Best Pastry Chef in France and World Pastry Chef Champion.

The onboard amenities and services will ensure a relaxing and entertaining voyage while the destination excursions will showcase some of Mexico's best-kept secrets, including unique experiences and explorations of local culture and tradition. With an exceptionally exclusive sailing capacity of 298 passengers, guests will never have to worry about crowds or lines.

Vidanta Cruises will also offer a game-changing new benefit that will allow guests to experience the luxury of Vidanta both on land and at sea. With just one check-in, travelers will be able to seamlessly split their trip between Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and Vidanta Elegant, giving them access to the best of both a cruise and resort vacation.

More information on itineraries, voyage length, destinations and cruising dates will be released as they are confirmed.

Carnival Corporation Reports First Quarter Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced U.S. GAAP net income of $336 million, or $0.48 diluted EPS, for the first quarter of 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2018 of $391 million, or $0.54 diluted EPS. First quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $338 million, or $0.49 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $375 million, or $0.52 adjusted EPS, for the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $2 million for the first quarter of 2019 and net gains of $16 million for the first quarter of 2018 relating to unrealized gains on fuel derivatives net of other charges. Revenues for the first quarter of 2019 were $4.7 billion, higher than the $4.2 billion in the prior year.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated, "First quarter earnings included revenue growth from higher capacity and improved onboard spending, offset by the timing of cost increases and a drag from fuel price and currency compared to the prior year. First quarter adjusted earnings were better than the mid-point of December guidance by $0.07 per share."

Donald added, "For the full year, our earnings guidance now reflects $155 million, or $0.22 per share, from fuel price and currency moving against us. Operationally, we continue to expect revenues and adjusted earnings per share improvements in line with our December guidance. We expect adjusted earnings per share to be higher than the prior year, despite a $45 million, or $0.06 per share, year over year drag from currency and the price of fuel."

Highlights from the first quarter included the delivery of AIDAnova, the first cruise ship in the industry powered at sea by liquefied natural gas and the delivery of Costa Venezia, the first Costa ship designed for the Chinese market. Princess Cruises expanded its MedallionClass experience onboard Regal Princess, with three additional ships to follow in 2019. OceanMedallion, the wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations, was awarded the 2019 IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line was named the Best Ocean Cruise Line in the annual USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards and Carnival Corporation was named by Forbes as one of America's best employers for diversity for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

2019 Outlook

At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the remainder of 2019 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year on a comparable basis. Pricing on bookings taken since January have been running in line on a comparable basis to the prior year while booking volumes are ahead compared to the prior year. As a result, even with higher capacity, there is less inventory remaining for sale than at the same time last year.

Donald added, "Booking trends achieved during wave season rivaled last years' historical highs and were consistent with the demand trends we experienced going into the year, building further confidence in our full year guidance. For our North America and Australia brands, our booked position is ahead of the prior year at higher prices while our Europe and Asia brands are well ahead of the prior year at lower prices. Our brands are strong and growing, including Continental Europe, where we continue to expect revenue growth driven by double-digit capacity increases."

Based on current booking trends, Carnival said that it continues to expect full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.5 percent, with capacity growth of 4.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year driven by our NAA brands. Carnival said that it continues to expect full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.5 percent compared to the prior year.

Taking the above factors into consideration, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.35 to $4.55, compared to December guidance of $4.50 to $4.80, due to changes in fuel price and currency exchange rates and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Donald commented, "We believe we are on a path that includes delivering, over time, double-digit earnings growth and improving return on invested capital through a consistent strategy of creating demand in excess of measured capacity growth while leveraging our industry leading scale." Carnival said that it invested more than $250 million in share repurchases during the quarter, bringing the cumulative total to nearly $5 billion since late 2015.

Second Quarter 2019 Outlook

Second quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be in line with the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the second quarter are expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.08 per share compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter 2019 to be in the range of $0.56 to $0.60 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $0.68.

Princess Cruises And Fincantieri Sign Contracts For Two Next-Generation Cruise Ships
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri announced today the signing of the final contracts for the construction of two next-generation 175,000-ton cruise ships, which will be the largest ships ever built so far in Italy, with deliveries scheduled in Monfalcone in late 2023 and in spring 2025. This announcement follows the initial signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties in July 2018.

The vessels will each accommodate approximately 4,300 guests and will be based on a next-generation platform design, being the first Princess Cruises ships to be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is the marine industry's most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world's cleanest fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil usage.

"Princess Cruises continues to grow globally -- adding new ships to our fleet built by our long-time trusted ship building partner, Fincantieri, who brings decades of expertise to these next-generation cruise ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. "Even more exciting is that these two ships are being designed to include our MedallionClass platform, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device available within the global hospitality industry."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, commented on the announcement: "This result proves, once again, the trust we receive from the market, which allows us to look to the future with ambition. It honors our great work focused on innovation thanks to which we have been able to offer to the client a record-breaking proposal not only in terms of size. Besides we firmly believe that a new class of Princess Cruises' ships, one of Carnival Group's top brands, can stem from this promising project. In fact, for Princess Cruises, we have received orders for 21 ships, another unprecedented result in this industry."

Celebrity Summit Returns After Extensive Refit
Celebrity Summit is ready to turn heads after completing a dramatic transformation. The ship's revitalization is the next chapter of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, Celebrity Cruises' extensive modernization effort, with more than $500-million in upgrades across the fleet.

The all-new Celebrity Summit's revolutionary enhancements include:

• Completely redesigned staterooms and suites

• The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, with exclusive new sundeck and redesigned lounge

• Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars and lounges Fully redesigned spa and casino

"Celebrity Summit is one of the most popular ships in the Celebrity Cruises fleet and we're excited to share the revolutionized design with the world," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo,

President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Celebrity Summit is better than she's ever been – with modernized spaces and exciting new experiences, and she's the first of our ships to feature our partnerships with American Ballet Theatre and Chef Daniel Boulud."

"Nearly every space on Celebrity Summit has been modernized, with attention paid to the smallest detail," said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. "We couldn't be more proud of the work that our teams have done for Summit's ship's 'Revolution' and the months of hard work leading up to this moment."

Celebrity Summit's bow-to-stern transformation began on February 17, 2019, in Freeport, Grand Bahama. It spent a total of 31 days in the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors and members of the Celebrity team who collaborated to ensure flawless execution of the ship's dramatic modernization.

When updating staterooms and suites, every detail was thought through, with guest comfort at the forefront. Celebrity collaborated with renowned international hospitality firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms, while turning to famed designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE, to refresh the gorgeous suites and bring The Retreat to Celebrity Summit.

Enhancements made to the staterooms and suites include:

• All-new stateroom design in partnership with HBA and refreshed suite design by Kelly Hoppen

• Celebrity's eXhale bedding featuring luxurious Cashmere mattresses

• Completely redesigned stateroom bathrooms, with state-of-the-art finishes and fixtures

• An all-new exclusive open-air hideaway – known as The Retreat Sundeck – for suite guests designed by Hoppen, featuring a new hot tub, cabanas, loungers, artwork, and more

• The Retreat Lounge – formerly Michael's Club – an exclusive 24/7 lounge for suite guests designed by Hoppen, offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites and concierge service

• A total of 30 new staterooms, including 13 new AquaClass Staterooms, seven new Ocean View Staterooms and 10 new Inside Staterooms

Celebrity seized this transformational opportunity and reimagined many of the restaurants and lounges found on Celebrity Summit. In collaboration with renowned New York hospitality design firm BG Studio International, a longtime partner of Celebrity, the brand revealed:

• A transformed Oceanview Cafe´, featuring a new open concept, increased seating options, and delicious, globally inspired culinary offerings

• A revitalized Main Dining Room with more seating and updated fixtures, including the eye-catching ceiling design featuring interlocking metal rings and lighting

• A reimagined Sunset Bar, featuring a variety of inviting seating options perfect for alfresco dining or cocktails with a view

• A reimagined Rendezvous Lounge, perfect for hosting events and entertainment from day to night.

Guests will find luxurious enhancements across the ship including:

• Xcelerate Wi-Fi throughout the ship, and the addition of RFID lock technology with digital key

• Boutiques featuring some of the hottest designers in the world including Shinola, John Hardy, and TAG Heuer

• A new, wellness-focused spa design for Canyon Ranch at Sea, transforming the treatment rooms, salon, fitness center, and locker rooms

• A ne